Emily Kngwarreye

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Post by wangrong on Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:42 am

In about 1945, Minnie had an affair with a married man,[11] Jack Weir, described by one source as a pastoral station owner,[3] by a second as "an Irish Australian man who owned a cattle run called Bundy River Station", and by another as an Irish "stockman".[12] A relationship such as that between Minnie and Weir was illegal, and the pair were jailed; Weir died shortly after his release.[12] Minnie had a child from their liaison, who was partly raised by Minnie's sister-in-law, artist Emily Kngwarreye,[13][14] and became prominent Indigenous artist Barbara Weir. Barbara Weir was one of the Stolen Generations. At about the age of nine, she was forcibly taken from her family, who believed she had then been killed. The family were reunited in the late 1960s, but Barbara did not form a close bond with Minnie. Barbara married Mervyn Torres, and as of 2000 had six children and thirteen grandchildren.[9][12][15]
Minnie went on to have six further children with her husband "Motorcar" Jim Ngala,[3] including Aileen, Betty, Raymond and Dora Mpetyane, and two others who by 2010 had died.[16] Her grandchildren include Fred Torres, who founded private art gallery DACOU in 1993,[17] and artist Teresa Purla (or Pwerle).[18]
Minnie began painting in late 1999[9] or 2000,[3] when she was almost 80. When asked why she had not begun earlier (painting and batik works had been created at Utopia for over 20 years), her daughter Barbara Weir reported Minnie's answer as being that "no-one had asked her".[19] By the 2000s, she was reported as living at Alparra, the largest of Utopia's communities, or at Urultja (also Irrultja, again in the Sandover region).[13] Sprightly and outgoing, even in her eighties she could outrun younger women chasing goannas for bushfood, and she continued to create art works until two days before her death on 18 March 2006.[3][8][20] She was outlived by all her sisters except Maggie Pwerle, mother of artists Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre (or Pitjara).[9]

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