the creation of Atnwengerrp

by Charmaine Pwerle

A collection that pays homage to Dreamings, Country and Ancestors.

The creations are very close to Charmaine’s heart, as each piece is named after her four daughters; Malangka, Kwerralya, Akarley and Anjurra.

Each name has been chosen and passed down to them from their ancestors, all of which, have a deep connection and meaning to the country. 



Means ‘beautiful’.
Celebrating all the natural colours that are found in our country.

The name Malangka represents ‘beautiful’, the beauty that the entire Atnwengerrp country and Aboriginal culture, has to offer. The bush tucker, the traditional cultural ceremonies and the natural colours of the land, which are all important elements to be celebrated and passed down to younger generations.

In Charmaine’s culture, ceremonies are focal points in the life of the community and held for different purposes. Each ceremony is integral to the continuation of Aboriginal culture and vital to the happiness and wellbeing of the people and the land.

View Malangka


Means ’sacred grass’.
Can also be used for food purposes.

The grass is important to the Aboriginal people because its seeds were ground up to make flour. The seeds fell to the ground and were difficult to see, so the Aboriginal people would seek the nesting site of a particular ant. This ant would eat a certain part of the seed, then discard the rest and the remains would be found in a pile outside their nest. The women would collect the seeds, then clean and grind them into flour and use it to make bread.

Due to the availability of ready-made bread today, this practice is no longer common. However, the Dreaming for the grass seed has been passed to Charmaine’s mother, Barbara Weir, from her ancestors and is important to her people.

View Anjurra


Means ‘bush orange’.
It is bush food that is collected after the rain season.

The Bush Orange is a particular fruit that grows in Atnwengerrp. Once very abundant but now scarce due to over grazing, this species was a stable source of bush tucker for Aboriginals.

The fruit grows on a big tree and is larger than a passionfruit. It is green when unripe and turns yellow in maturity. It is soft inside and is often compared to the flavour of custard apple. The fruit is consumed raw with the tough outer skin discarded or laid out to dry, to be consumed during months when bush tucker is scarce.

The physical creation of this Dreaming is an important part of the bush tucker ceremonies conducted by the Women. Artworks such as ‘Bush Orange’ and ‘Women’s Ceremony’ ensures the continuation of an ancient and rich cultural heritage, while acknowledging the close bond still retained by Charmaine to her country.

View Akarley


Means ’star’.
Created during our Dreamtime in our country.

The star that was created during the Dreamtime. This Dreamtime is very sacred to Atnwengerrp and has been passed down through many ancestral lines. It is not spoken of. Only expressed on canvas through the form of painting.

The ‘Star’ dreaming, is something Charmaine pays respect to in the traditional ceremony – in respect to her ancestors and our land.

View Kwerralya