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Soakage by Lena Pwerle

Size: 180cm x 120cm
Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen

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This painting has been hand painted by Lena Pwerle of Utopia, Central Australia. Circular designs represent soakages (or waterholes) that are spread across her land in the Utopia Region.

Lena says that these soakages, now all dried and used up, had plenty of water in them long ago, even when she was growing up, providing her people with a much needed water supply. With their intimate knowledge of the land, Lena’s people knew how and where to find them in the harsh desert environment.

Long time [ago] olden time mob get their little coolamon (bowl), they check them [soakages] – proper good one water! They been find ‘em under the ground. My grandmother taught me where to find ‘em. They dry now, they finish. They [my people] drink bore water now” - Lena Pwerle

Lines are significant in this piece, representing women digging the sand in search of the water beneath.


Name: Lena Pwerle
Skin name: Pwerle (also spelled Pula)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ahalpere
Region: Utopia, Central Australia
Born: 1934
Read Lena Pwerle's full bio »

  • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
  • Size of painting: 180cm x 120cm
  • Size of linen border: Approx 8cm
  • Designed to be stretched on a 2cm deep stretcher frame
  • Background colour: Black




Catalogue number: 50598


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