South Australia’s most prominent, emerging Aboriginal artist, Jade Torres has launched her first exhibition for Pwerle Gallery last week. Unlike any other art exhibition, Jade’s work will be flanked by no fewer than nine other notable Aboriginal artists, who span four generations and are her family.
At 25 years of age, Jade, born and bred in Adelaide has a dynasty of artistic ancestry, painting is in her blood. Her family, globally renowned Aboriginal artists Minnie Pwerle, Barbara Weir, Emily Kame Kngwarreye to name a few have played a huge roll in her artist style and the success of the business.
Having recently been featured in Elle Magazine and as one of Vogue’s Game Changers of 2018, alongside names such as Emma Watson and Margot Robbie, big things are happening for this talented young woman.
Jade and her family are from the homeland of the Utopian region, located 270kms north-east of Alice Springs. The Utopia area is not only an area of great artistic importance but is home to the Pwerle family.
With family members including the likes of Jade’s Great Grandmother, Minnie Pwerle and her Grandmother, Barbara Weir the exhibition titled Four Generations – A Utopia Family Affair will also showcase another nine artists in the family and display over 40+ works. It will also be the first opportunity for Jade and younger sister Mariah to exhibit their artwork making it the fourth generation to the puzzle.
The exhibition opened on Thursday, May 10 at One Rundle Trading Co’s Dulwich store, includes an interpretation of the Pwerle’s dream time stories with ‘Awelye Atnwengerrp’ being the most predominate Dreamtime. ‘Awelye’ meaning in Aboriginal culture, ceremonies are focal points in the life of the community. They are held for different purposes, but each is integral to the continuation of Aboriginal culture and vital to the happiness and well being of the people and the land. Particular dances and song cycles accompany each. Womens awelye ceremonies are acknowledgments of their responsibilities for the land and their relationship to it. Men participate in powerful secret initiation ceremonies that are important rituals for the initiation of young men into adulthood. Increase ceremonies are performed by all to ensure the fertility of the land. Sorry business is a heartrending ceremony of mourning for the passing of loved ones.
Jade is an artist in her own right but in 2015 launched her own online, Indigenous family owned gallery called Pwerle and has instigated a number of business ventures and collaborations to take Aboriginal art to a new level of awareness, particular for a lifestyle savvy market.
Ms Torres said “with the majority of the artists being family members and stakeholders in the company, I feel family connection is the key factor to my gallery’s success and it is our priority.
The artists and the community are our priority and that is why a percentage of every sale we make goes back into our Utopia Trust.”
Jade’s vision for Pwerle Gallery is to evolve Aboriginal culture and art awareness.
As someone who had the privilege to grow up in such an inspirational culture and family, it is very dear to her heart to work very hard on achieving this vision and following in the footsteps of her father, Fred Torres, curator and owner of Dreaming Art Centre of Utopia (‘DACOU’).
“I wanted to not only achieve what he had achieved in the market over the last 30 years but modernise it in a whole new forum,” said Jade.
One Rundle Trading co owner, Amanda Swale said: “We feel truly privileged to showcase this amazing collection of 40+ works and feel passionate about helping the Pwerle family in their plight to tell their ancestor’s stories and ensuring they continue to be passed down as well as supporting their community.
One of Jade’s goals is to provide the opportunity for others to appreciate the culture and history of the artwork in a different form other than canvas. Incorporating fashion and homewares into the mix not only gives people more of an understanding but a different avenue to have the beautiful artwork in their homes but in a different form.
Jade has taken marketing her family’s art to the next level by initiating successful collaborating with such recognisable brands and corporations such as Aje the label, The Sydney Opera House for Badu Gili, Designer Rugs and Woven Image. She has also formed a partnership with Hydrocryl, the manufacturer of Australia’s finest artist quality of acrylic paints and they support Pwerle Gallery as a sponsor.
Pwerle Gallery is currently in the sampling stage of some pretty exciting homewares ranges that will feature a range of Utopian artists with the aim the products will have a global impact.
To keep up with the Pwerle Gallery head to their Instagram.
Exhibition of Four Generations – A Utopia Family Affair
May 11 – 20, 2018
One Rundle Trading Co – 20 Stuart Road Dulwich // (08) 8432 3033