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Gracie Morton Purle (Pwerle)



Language: Eastern Alyawarre

Region: Utopia

b. 1956


Gracie is of the Eastern Alyawarre language group. She was born in 1956 at Utopia Station, approximately 250km north-east of Alice Springs. Her family’s traditional country (Alhalkere) is associated with the Mosquito Bore (Lyentye) region, an outstation of Utopia where Gracie, together with her husband and two children, moved some years ago. She is the daughter of artist Myrtle Petyarre who is sister to Gloria Petyarre. Gracie began her painting career in the 1980s at Utopia working initially with batik, before only recently transposing her designs onto canvas. Her paintings are distinctively minimalist, highlighted by delicate dotting and a traditional palette derived from the colours of natural ochres. Her most commonly depicted subject is the bush plum known to the Alyawarre people as Arnwekety.

 Gracie Morton Purle - redrock

Mosquito Bore in the Utopia comprises about 6 or 7 small houses but is the home to many of Australia's famous Aboriginal artists. Gracie's family and neighbours include Gloria Petyarre, Ronnie Price, Louis Pwerle and Rita Ngale. When working in Batik Gracie produced many quality works and her move into arylics on canvas has allowed for the progressive development of her skills as a painter. 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 dtos in intricate patterns, all associated with stories of her Dreamtimes. Her works are highly sought after and represented in many Australian Galleries.


Gracie has been painting for redrock gallery since 1999.


Solo Exhibitions:

2000 Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Cairns, Australia.


Group Exhibitions:

1985 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs, Australia

1986 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs, Australia

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.

The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Cork, Limerick Ireland, Meat Market Gallery. Melbourne. Australia.

1989-92 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs. AustraliaGracie Morton Purle - redrock

1989-93 8th National Aboriginal Art Awards, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. Australia

1992 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs, Australia

1993 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs. Australia

1994 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs. Australia

1995 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs. Australia

1998 Utopia and Balgo Hills, Aboriginal Art Galerie Baehr, Speyer, Germany

1998 Culture Store, Art Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands

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

2006 redrock gallery, Group Exhbition, Relocation Exhibition,South Yarra, Australia

2007 June redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, Gallery Grand Opening Beijing, P.R China

2007 July redrock gallery, Group Exhibition China World Exhibition Centre, Beijing P.R China

2007 August redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, Grand Hyatt Hotel,Beijing, P.R China

2007 November redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, International Art Expo, Beijing, P.R China





Mem Aziz Collection, Melbourne

Reimers-Stiftung, Deidesheim

Robert Holmes a Court-Sammung, Perth

Slaughter and May International Law, London



Das Verborgene im Sichtbaren, The Unseen in Scene. Aboriginal Art Galerie Bahr, Speyer.

Utopia – A Picture Story 88 Works on Silk. The Robert Holmes a Court Collection. Brody, A,

(Hrsg.) An aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc., Adelaide 1989.

Utopia Womens Paintings: The First Works on Canvas. A Summer Project 1988-89. The Robert Holmes a Court Collection. Brody. A. (Hrsg.) Heytesbury Holdings. Perth 1989


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