Pwerle Gallery – named after the iconic artist Minnie Pwerle – is a new Indigenous, family owned company that is creating a splash on a national level.
The gallery recently launched a website and its online store features artwork from the Utopian region where managing director (and Pwerle’s great grandaughter), Jade Torres and her family is originally from.
The vision behind creating the platform was to re-imagine history and culture so current society can engage with the artwork as well as creating exposure and awareness of Aboriginal culture globally. And with family members such as Pwerle, Barbara Weir and Emily Kame Kngwarreye, it is easy to see where her proud cultural heritage comes from.
“For both myself and my family including my grandmother, [keeping our indigenous culture, history and love for the land alive] has been the most critical part of the process,” Jade says.
“It is an extremely sensitive topic and it was very important to us to make sure it was done correctly. We wanted to give our customers the opportunity to appreciate our culture and history in a different form other than canvas.”
Pwerle Gallery recently made its mark on the fashion world, with some of Minnie Pwerle’s work being incorporated into Australian label, Aje’s, Resort 2018 collection, which was fittingly shown at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
After explaining her vision and the awareness she wanted to achieve, creative directors Adrian Norris and Edwina Robinson came on board to collaborate with Jade to turn the coveted paintings into photographs which were them digitally printed onto garments from their ‘Awelye’ collection.
Jade, Adrian and Edwina took the special collection back to Pwerle’s home soil of Alice Springs to shoot the campaign, making the most the sprawling landscape and incomparable sunrises.
“It was an incredible experience for everyone,” Jade says.
“We all woke each morning before sunrise, we had absolutely no phone range in our location and it was such a surreal experience within itself to feel so free and relaxed in such a beautiful environment, which I am lucky enough to also call home.”
As for what is next for Pwerle Gallery, Jade plans to add new and coveted artwork to the gallery, with promise of an expansion into her own clothing line and homewares later in the year as well.