Gracie Morton Pwerle - BUSH PLUM LEAVES GM1612

Gracie Morton Pwerle Bush Plum Leaves Australian Aboriginal Art Painting on canvas GM1612


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Artist: Gracie Morton
Skin Name: Pwerle (Pwerl) 
Born: c.1956
Region: Utopia
Language: Eastern Alyawerre
Subjects and Themes(Dreaming): Women's Ceremony, Bush Seeds, Bush Plum Dreaming, My Country.



Gracie was born in 1956 at Utopia Station. She is the daughter of artist Myrtle Petyarre who is sister to Gloria, Kathleen, Ada and Violet Petyarre. Gracie began her painting career in the 1980s at Utopia working initially with batik,

and before only recently transposing her designs onto canvas which has allowed for the progressive development of her skills as a painter. Her paintings are distinctively minimalist, highlighted by delicate dotting and a traditional palette derived from the colour variation uses an aerial perspective to portray the seasonal changes of the bush plum, her most commonly depicted subject known to the Alyawarre people as Arnwekety. It is a plant of great significance to the women of Gracie's traditional country, Mosquito Bore which has been passed down to Gracie from her father and her aunt, who are responsible for ensuring that she perseveres its traditions.  

Open to outside influence, Gracie's style has evolved into the highly detailed spectre as it presently appears. Her work is quite brilliant, comprised of laborious fine dots in intricate patterns, all associated with stories of her Dreamtimes.

Gracie's work has been widely displayed and is represented in major collections.




  • 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
  • 1989 Utopia Women's Paintings. The First Works on Canvas. A Summer Project, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney. Australia.
  • 1989-91 Utopia A Picture Story. Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide. Australia.
  • 1989-93 8th National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. Australia
  • 1998 Utopia and Balgo Hills, Aboriginal Art Galerie Baehr, Speyer, Germany
  • 1998 Culture Store, Art Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • 1998, 2000, 2003 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne
  • 1998, 2000, 2003 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne
  • 1998 Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florenz. Italy.
  • 1999 Alliance Francaise de Canberra and French Embassy, Australia
  • 1999 Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs. Australia.
  • 1999 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, Australia.
  • 1999 My Country Journey of our Ancestors, Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Cairns
  • 2000 Kunst der Aborigines, Leverkusen, Germany
  • 2000 Mosquito Bore The Art of the Minimalist, Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Australia.
  • 2001 Francaise de Canberra. Canberra. Australia
  • 2001 The Unseen in Scene. Staedfische Galerie Wolfsburg. Germany.
  • 2001-02 Recounting the Essence of Life. Art from Australia. Kunstforum HDZ, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.
  • 2002 Land is Life, Art from Australia. Jagdschloss Granitz, Binz, Ruegen, Germany
  • 2002 Kult (o) urnacht, Aboriginal Art Galerie Baer, Seyer, Germany



  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane
  • Slaughter and May International Law Collection, London, U.K.
  • National Gallery of Australia (Canberra)
  • Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory (Darwin)
  • Art Bank (Sydney)
  • National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne)
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth)
  • Homes a Court Gallery and gallery Collection (Perth)


SOURCE: Birnberg, M & Kreczmanski, JB 2004, Aboriginal artists dictionary of biographies: Western Desert, Central Desert and Kimberley Region, 1st edn., JB Publishing, Marleston.

This painting represents the Bush Plam Leaf which can be found growing around Utopia after good rainfall and it is the women that collect them for the family to eat.


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