Collection: Minnie Pwerle

Minnie Pwerle was born circa 1920 in the Utopia region. It was not until 1999 at approximately 70+ years of age, that Minnie Pwerle began painting on canvas.

Her first series of works painted at the Utopia Communities workshops were linear paintings, expressing a bold, free-flowing, enigmatic style that quickly drew the interest of critics and art lovers alike.

Minnie Pwerle’s career as an artist began through Aboriginal ceremony and ritual. Her craft instigated by her appointment as a body painter during Women’s ceremonies. Body paint designs are worn to represent Dreamings and various symbols specific to particular rituals. Usually the upper body is covered in animal fat and intricate designs painted on the chest, back and arms with paints made from ochre’s.

Minnie’s works have drawn comparisons to Emily Kngwarreye’s "Wild Yam Stories" painted in the mid 1990’s.

Minnie's works were exhibited around Australia and collected by major galleries, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Victoria, and the Queensland Art Gallery.

Sadly, Minnie Pwerle passed away in 2006.