With the famous Minnie Pwerle as her grandmother, and Barbara Weir for her mother, it is not surprising that Charmaine Pwerle is emerging as one of the top contemporary Indigenous Australian artists. Being surrounded by artists all her life, including the eminent artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gloria Petyarre, Charmaine’s inherent artistic sense inevitably blossomed.
The brushwork in her designs “Body Paint” (Awelye) has all the characteristics of her families dreaming, but Charmaine lends her own distinct bold style and movement to the canvas. “Awelye” is an all encompassing term for which there is no direct translation. Broadly it describes ‘women’s business’ which is passed on from generation to generation. Things associated with women’s law, social and moral customs, rites and ceremonies including ceremonial body paint designs.
Charmaine’s career path as an artist is set to soar. Barbara Weir, is one of the most committed and productive of all Indigenous artists, and if Charmaine follows in her mother’s footsteps, she too could become one of the great contemporary Indigenous Australian artists.