Cowboy Louie Pwerle

Cowboy Louie Pwerle

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DOB: c. 1941
Born: Utopia, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Eastern Anmatyerre

Born in 1941 on Old MacDonald station, Cowboy Louie Pwerle is so called because of his reputation as a stockman and his cowboy attire. His older brother, now deceased, was also called Louie and was an important Utopian Artist.

Cowboy's traditional country lies West of the Sandover River on Utopia station. He is one of the highly respected Elders of Utopia and is a senior custodian for the Bush Turkey Ancestor. The Bush Turkey Dreaming is his main Dreaming, however he also paints Emu (Ankerr) Tucker Dreaming and Lizard (Arlewatyerr) Dreaming.

His work is characterised by his use of dark earthy colours and of geometric shapes outlined in dots, to represent the tracks of the Bush Turkey roaming across the bushland as it searches for tucker.

Cowboy currently lives at Mosquito Bore with his two wives, sisters Carol and Elizabeth Kngwarreye.


  • Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Stichting Sint-Jan, Brugge

Awards and Recognition

2018 Paddington Art Prize, Sydney - Finalist
2012 Paddington Art Prize, Sydney - Finalist
2012 Blake Art Prize - Finalist
2009 Blake Art Prize - Finalist


Selected Group Exhibitions

2020 60 by 60 - Small Paintings, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2010 Desert Country, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
2008 Power of Place: Paintings and Sculpture from the Eastern Desert, Tandanya Aboriginal and Cultural Institute Inc, Adelaide
2007 Patterns of Power: Art and the Eastern Desert, Simmer on the Bay, Sydney
2007 Eastern Desert Dreaming: Artists from Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane