synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
140 x 54 cm
Emily Kngwarreye's paintings of wildflowers reflect a stage in the growth cycle of the wild yam. Emily's middle name Kame is taken from the yam Dreaming site at Alhalkere.
Emily's yam story can be found in all her work, even though in some paintings the yam motif is not obvious, it lies below the surface of them all. In this 'wildflower' painting Emily captures the brief season when the pencil yam produces bright green foliage and yellowish flowers on the grounds surface. However, the nutritional value of the yam is hidden underground in the swollen roots and their pod-like attachments, which are difficult to locate as the plant's unpredictable growth patterns make harvest difficult and specialised. Traditionally much effort is expended across large areas in the harvest of this valuable food.