Charmaine Pwerle is a talented, and established, artist whose paintings are bold, modern and powerful. Charmaine has been surrounded by artists all her life, she is the daughter of renowned artist, Barbara Weir and granddaughter of Minnie Pwerle (deceased). Her sister Teresa Pwerle and brother Freddie Torres Pwerle are also well-known artists.
Her education straddles two cultures, she was born in Alice Springs and grew up in Utopia, Adelaide and Alice Springs. Charmaine attended Utopia School and then St Philips College in Alice Springs. She returned to Utopia in 1992 and worked for Urapuntja Council as a junior administration assistant. She lived at Soakage Bore with her mother and grandmother and learnt traditional culture, dreamings and awelye.
Charmaine started painting in 2012. She paints Awelye (women's ceremonial body paint designs) that have been passed down to her from her grandmother. These are linear designs that are painted onto the chest, breasts, arms and thighs. Powders ground from red ochre (clay) and ash are used, applied with a flat stick with soft padding. During the ceremony, Charmaine, and the women, would sing the songs associated with their Awelye, paint each other and dance. Awelye ceremonies are performed to demonstrate respect for the country and the total well-being and health of the community.
In recent years, she has lived in various locations across Australia with her children and large extended family, but has also regularly returned to Utopia to be with family and take part in cultural and ceremonial events. Charmaine continues to learn the deeper meanings of her Dreaming from her mother, which has resulted in an incredible artistic explosion. Her paintings contain layers of complexity and movement.
Charmaine has captured the attention of many major institutions and collectors, both nationally and internationally and is one of the most highly sought after artists living and working today.