Artist: Lena Pwerle
Skin name: Pwerle (also spelled Pwerl, Pula)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Lena began painting in the 1990’s and is renowned for her Soakage paintings. Initially she worked in the medium of batik along with over eighty other women from the Utopia Region in Central Australia. Her work in batik is featured in “Utopia – A Picture Story”. In 1996 she represented Australia in Western Samoa for the Festival of Pacific Arts where she was marked as ‘among the best available talent’. In this same year she also travelled to Indonesia with other women of Utopia for a workshop funded by the Northern Territory Department of Education so that they could learn more about the art of batik.
Lena is a senior boss woman at Utopia and is on a number of government boards including the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (which protects the sacred sites within the NT) and the Urapuntja council which governs Utopia. Lena’s personality reflects this immense responsibility while exuding good nature and humour. Lena encourages and ensures that other Utopia women participate in exhibitions and ceremonies, and share their knowledge to promote their culture and community spirit.