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Minnie Pwerle

Awelye Atnwengerrp - 2001

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
91.0 x 123.0 cm
Price Realised: $5,500.00

MP #318


Dacou Gallery, SA Cat. No. 06092
Art Mob Gallery, Tas Cat No. AM 12783/16 
Private Collection, Tas

The manner in which Minnie Pwerle created her works was the result of an urgency to reconnect to the past and to keep the Dreaming a living reality. Painting after painting depicted the body designs applied to women’s breasts and limbs for the regular ceremonial revivification of her country. 


These bold linear patterns of stripes and curves evoke the movement of the women as they dance during ceremony. After smearing their bodies with animal fat, they trace these designs onto their breasts, arms and thighs singing as each woman has a turn to be ‘painted up’. Then, often by firelight, they dance in formation accompanied by ritual singing. The songs relate to the Dreamtime stories of ancestral travel as well as plants, animals and natural forces. 


Awelye-Women’s ceremony demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies they ensure well-being and happiness within their community.