Saturday, April 25, 2009

Minnie Pwerle


Minnie Pwerle
Awelye
2005
Synthetic polymer on Belgian linen


Minnie Pwerle
Awelye Athwengerrp
2005
acrylic on linen
56 x 56 cm


Please enjoy these stunning paintings by the late Minnie Pwerle, an Australian Indigenous painter. I have a yellowing and tattered magazine image of one of her paintings on my studio wall and it inspires me every day. From a formalist point of view, Pwerle's treatment of surface is entirely contemporary; layers of pigment suggest the rippling effects of wind on sand or tidal waters through kelp.

Her distinctive style used linear brush-work based on the body painting used for important women's ceremonies in her native country of Atnwengerrp. She painted with a rich array of colours and her work contained a compelling visual and spiritual power.

All the stories she painted conveyed her deep connection with the land, and knowledge of the foods that it provides. (quoted from Wikipedea)


4 comments:

vc said...

these are striking and I am compelled to find out more. I am also struck by the parallel, according to wikiped, between the "spiritual" ambitions of this and western abstraction. And it is interesting that she painted on canvas late in life, which is of course a western influence, because it shows how the whole idea of "authenticity" is colonialist, because it freezes and museum-izes living cultures. But that's all academic potboiler. THe images are very cool, and are driven by a love for color and everything else.

Undercover Painter said...

yes vc, you've raised some interesting questions. Let me say that the whole Aboriginal art thing is not just academic but also highly political and presents a mindfield of accusations and counter accusations ie. exploitation vs reconciliation. Personally I try to keep an open mind but I tend to agree that a lot of aboriginal artists have been exploited for their art since it brings in big dollars for the city galleries and all the middle men. ok, back to the images. If you like Pwerle, also check out Emily Kngwarreye who, in 2008, was given a retrospective in Tokyo. Apparently she had never seen a modern art work in her life!

Undercover Painter said...

um...actually that probably isn't true, more likely she did but not until after she began to paint seriously - when she was 80! Anyway, breathtaking stuff.

vc said...

cool thanks will check her out

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...