Minnie painted of the Awelye Atnwengerrp Dreamings (Women’s Dreaming). Her distinctive style used linear brush-work based on the body painting used for important women’s ceremonies in her native country of Atnwengerrp. She painted with a rich array of colours and her work contained a compelling visual and spiritual power.
All the stories she painted conveyed her deep connection with the land, and knowledge of the foods that it provides. Besides Women’s Dreaming, Minnie. painted other Dreamings involving the bush melon, and bush melon seed, types of bush tucker traditionally used by her people, once very common, and becoming increasingly rarer. Minnie and the other women used to collect this fruit (that was green in colour and then ripened to a brown colour) and scrape out the small black seeds.
They would then eat the fruit straight away or cut it into pieces and skewer them onto a piece of wood and dry them to be eaten in the coming months when bush tucker was scarce. Minnie’s work shared many features with that of other contemporary artists of the central and western deserts: the portrayal of stories or features for which she had responsibility within her family or clan; the strong influence of traditional designs in the art; vigorous use of colour; and the enthusiastic embrace of new techniques, such as acrylic paint on canvas.
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