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Minnie Pwerle

Awelye - 1999

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 91.5 cm
Price Realised: $9,760.00

MP #725


Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 12292
Hank Ebes Collection, Vic


accompanied by a certificate booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings

Minnie Pwerle, whose husband was the brother of famed artist Emily Kngwarreye, began painting her country Atnwengerrp and its associated Dreamings in earnest at 77 years of age in 1999, three years after Emily's death. While Minnie resembles Emily in her prodigious output and gestural vigour, it is the bush melon and its seed, rather than the yam, or bush potato, which were her own Dreamings and the subject of her art.


The bush melon fruit is collected by women and eaten immediately or cut into pieces, skewered onto pieces of wood, and then dried to be eaten over the coming months when bush tucker is scarce. In this powerful small work, one of the first works created by the artist at the start of her career in 1999, Awelye Atnwengerrp is represented by powerful lines painted gesturally in startling white on a black background without reference to the melon seeds that dominate the majority of her work. The designs painted on the top half of women's bodies during ceremony are boldly depicted and evoke the presence of women dancing by fire light.