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Minnie Pwerle Paintings

Aboriginal art has increased in popularity in recent years, not just with those viewing and purchasing works by Indigenous artists, but also with people wanting to learn about the story behind Aboriginal art and culture and the techniques used to create the artworks.

Minnie's Life

A renowned Aboriginal artist, Minnie Pwerle had a short but successful career from about 2000 until her death in 2006. Minnie was born in Utopia, Northern Territory, a cattle station that was returned to its traditional Aboriginal owners in the late 1970s and which became well known for batik art. Minnie was believed to be around 80 years of age when she commenced painting though her exact birthdate is unknown.

Painting Style

Minnie Pwerle's paintings are characterised by bold, thick lines and circles. The lines are similar to those used for women's ceremonial body painting, while the circles symbolise bush foods, such as bush melons and tomatoes. Minnie's medium of choice was acrylic paint on canvas. Her work is displayed in major galleries in several Australian states.

Other Utopia Artists

Art has been a popular pastime in the Utopia area since the 1970s, with a number of other Aboriginal artists hailing from there producing sought-after abstract art. Several of Minnie Pwerle's relatives are talented artists in their own right. These include Minnie's daughters Barbara Weir and Betty Mbitjana as well as her sisters Emily, Molly and Galya Pwerle.

Kudditji Kngwarreye

From another of Utopia's successful Aboriginal artists, Kudditji Kngwarreye paintings were exhibited in various locations around Australia and overseas for 25 years. His art also appears in several collections, both nationally and internationally. His acrylic on canvas art uses bright colours to depict his country and Dreamings.

Other Aboriginal Artists

As well as the abstract art originating from the Utopia area, there are also many other Aboriginal paintings available in a variety of styles, including dot paintings and desert art. Subjects include landscapes, animals and botanicals.

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