Minnie Pwerle

Minnie Pwerle was born around 1910 and passed away 18 March 2006. She was from the remote Utopia community (300 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs).

Minnie is regarded as one of Australia’s great contemporary Indigenous artists, alongside other notable Indigenous female painters Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Dorothy Napangardi, Gloria Petyarre and Kathleen Petyarre.

Minnie began painting late in life at the age of 80, during the contemporary Indigenous Australian art movement, founded at Papunya Tula in the 1970’s-80’s. Minnie’s paintings quickly became popular and highly sought-after, with her modern interpretation of her Dreaming. Her paintings depict theme’s of Women’s ceremony, such as Body Paint or “Awelye Atnwengerrp”.

Minnie is the sister-in-law of the world famous Emily Kame Kngwarreye and mother of Barbara Weir, a very successful artist in her own right. She is also sister to the Pwerle Sisters; Emily Pwerle, Molly Pwerle and Galya Pwerle.

Like her sisters, Minnie’s paintings depict traditional women’s ceremonies known as “Awelye Atnwengerrp”. The bold expressive lines in her paintings represent body paint, dancing tracks in the sand and sacred places where the ceremonies take place.