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 Minnie Pwerle

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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Minnie Pwerle   Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:43 pm

Minnie Pwerle (also Minnie Purla[1] or Minnie Motorcar Apwerl;[2] born between 1910 and 1922 – 18 March 2006) was an Australian Aboriginal artist. She came from Utopia, Northern Territory, a cattle station in an area of Central Australia 300 kilometres (190 mi) northeast of Alice Springs known as the Sandover.
Minnie began painting in 2000, and her pictures soon became popular and sought-after works of contemporary Indigenous Australian art. In the years after she took up painting on canvas, until she died in 2006, Minnie's works were exhibited around Australia and collected by major galleries, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Queensland Art Gallery. With popularity came pressure from those keen to acquire her work. She was allegedly "kidnapped" by people who wanted her to paint for them, and there have been media reports of her work being forged. Minnie's work is often compared with that of her sister-in-law Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who also came from the Sandover and took up acrylic painting late in life. Minnie's daughter, Barbara Weir, is a respected artist in her own right.
Minnie was born in the early 20th century near Utopia, Northern Territory, 300 kilometres (190 mi) north-east of Alice Springs, Northern Territory.[3] Utopia was a cattle station that was returned to Indigenous ownership in the late 1970s.[4] It is part of a broader region known as the Sandover, containing about 20 Indigenous outstations and centred on the Sandover River.[5] Minnie was one of the traditional owners of Utopia station recognised in the 1980 Indigenous land claim made over the property;[1] her particular country was known as Atnwengerrp.[3]
Pwerle (in the Anmatyerre language) or Apwerle (in Alyawarr) is a skin name, one of 16 used to denote the subsections or subgroups in the kinship system of central Australian Indigenous people. These names define kinship relationships that influence preferred marriage partners, and may be associated with particular totems. Although they may be used as terms of address, they are not surnames in the sense used by Europeans.[6][7] Thus "Minnie" is the element of the artist's name that is specifically hers.

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