Charmaine Pwerle (CP-1005) – Awelye (120cm x 180cm)
Acrylic on Linen
- Artist Biography
Artist: Charmaine Pwerle
Size: 120cm x 180cm
Medium: Acrylic on Linen
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Charmaine Pwerle was always surrounded by artists; great-aunt Emily Kngwarreye, the Petyarre sisters, her mother Barbara Weir and grandmother Minnie Pwerle. It is very important for Utopian artists to continue to paint so the Dreamings are never forgotten. Charmaine's main inspirations are the Atnwengerrp area and Awelye (women's ceremonies and body paint). Her early education straddled the worlds of the remote outpost of Utopia, the urban environment of Adelaide, where she was sent to 'improve her education' and Alice Springs. In 1992 Charmaine returned to Utopia and worked for Urapuntja Council as a junior administration assistant, while living with her mother Barbara Weir and grandparents Minnie Pwerle and Motorcar Jim at Soakage Bore - an outstation on what used to be Utopia Station. During the years she spent at Utopia, Charmaine's education extended to embrace her people's culture, performing in ceremonies, and learning the sacred stories passed on to her by her grandmothers.
In Charmaine's 'Awelye' works the women paint each other's breasts and upper bodies with ochre markings, before dancing in a ceremony. The body designs painted on the chest and shoulders are important and relate to each particular woman's dreaming. The ochre pigment is ground into powder form and mixed with charcoal and ash before being applied with a flat padded stick or with fingers in linear and curving patterns. The circles in these designs represent the sites and movement where the ceremonies take place.