Last artwork by a great artist - Minnie Pwerle

When Minnie died I felt a sense of great loss since I had never experienced an artist like her. She was unstoppable to her last days creating works that captured the imagination of art lovers from around the world.

In March 2006, a couple of days prior to passing away, Minnie arrived early in the morning in my Alice Springs studio. She was accompanied by her daughter Barbara Weir and her favourite granddaughter Charmaine. She appeared slightly irritated when Charmaine took her arm to ensure she is not missing the steps into the place. Once inside she sat down on the carpet and watched us preparing for her to paint. It didn’t take long till she impatiently gestured and said things in Anmatyerre or Alyawarr language. Charmaine translated that she wanted us to speed up. That was typical of that lady. When Barbara and I tried to be helpful she indicated that we should go away. She required no help or inspiration, all she painted came from within herself. It simply flowed on from one stroke with the brush to another and from one colour to another without break.

Less than some hours later she finished a large painting.

It took quite some convincing to have Minnie sitting down with Charmaine and myself so Barbara could take a photo of us – most likely the last photo taken of the  artist. Minnie wanted to go back to her country, go bush, go hunting, collect bush food – no time to waste. She heard that her grandson is driving to Utopia and she wanted to go in order not to miss him.

It was a couple of days later when I learned that Minnie passed away piecefully. 

The painting she did on this day, the last one in her life could have been sold numerous times. Instead it will end up in my new second gallery which will be completed in about August 2024.