Torres Strait Islander Art Award

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Torres Strait Islander Art Award

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

In the 1970s and 1980s Utopia became well known for the design and production of batiks.[21] By 1981 there were 50 artists at Utopia creating batik works;[22] 88 artists participated in a major design project supported by the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association.[4] Although several sources comment that artistic activity at Utopia began with batik and only later moved to painting, they do not state whether or not Minnie was a textile artist before she took up the brush. The National Gallery of Victoria's brief biography suggests that she did not participate in the making of batik, but she was aware of it.[2]

A painting by Minnie Pwerle, showing characteristic pendulous outlines, depicting body painting designs, and circles representing bush tomato, bush melon, and northern wild orange bushfoods
When Minnie decided to take up painting in 2000, the reception was immediately positive: she had her first solo exhibition that same year at Melbourne's Flinders Lane Gallery.[3] She was first selected to exhibit in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2002.[23] One of her pieces, Awelye Atnwengerrp, was exhibited in the 2003 Award, in which her name was given as Minnie Motorcar Apwerl (Pwerle). The artist's asking price for the picture, AUD$44,000, was the second-highest in the exhibition and the highest for an artist from the central and western deserts.[24] Her painting Awelye Atnwengerrp 2 was exhibited in the 2005 competition.[25] She was named by Australian Art Collector as one of Australia's 50 most collectible artists in 2004.[26]
There were many group and solo exhibitions of Minnie's work at private galleries between 2000 and 2006. These included exhibitions at Japinka Gallery in Western Australia in 2003 and 2005,[27] Adelaide's Dacou Gallery in 2000 and 2002,[23] Sydney's Gallery Savah between 2000 and 2002 as well as in 2006,[28] and Melbourne's Flinders Lane Gallery in 2000, 2004 and 2006, the last of which was a joint exhibition conducted with her three sisters,[29] all of whom are artists in their own right.[3][9]

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