Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this post includes the name of a person who has died.
It is with great sadness that we pay our respects to senior elder Cowboy Loy Pwerl who died Wednesday 30 March in Alice Springs hospital. Cowboy was a leader within the painting movement at Utopia with his intricate designs often depicting the nesting place of the bush turkey. Cowboy was a senior custodian of a series of Dreaming sites in Utopia, on the western side of the Sandover River. He was an Eastern Anmatyerr speaker who lived his life on country, mostly at Iylenty, and acquired his nickname from his days as a stockman. In his paintings, Cowboy delighted in a strong use of harmonious colour, moving away from more subdued ochres of earlier works, whilst maintaining his signature optical illusional style. On a simple level, the geometric patterning laid out across the canvas in tiny coloured dots, represents the bush turkey as it searches for seeds to eat.
Our thoughts are with Cowboy’s family, particularly Carol, Elizabeth and Genevieve.
Cowboy is represented in the National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of South Australia; the Melbourne Museum; Benalla Art Gallery; and numerous private collections across Australia and internationally.
Cowboy Loy Pwerl