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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Earth's Creation I, 1994

Synthetic polymer pant on Belgian linen, four panels
632.0 x 275.0 cm
Estimate Upon Request


"this is, in my opinion, Emily Kngwarreye's greatest masterpiece" Adrian Newstead "Few artists have painted the country like she has, with an ability to penetrate its very soul". Prof Margo Neale -  Curator Emily Kngwarreye Retrospective, National Gallery, Tokyo, Japan "This masterpiece of grand proportions is imbued with Emily’s exuberant celebration of her Country, Alhalkere. It embraces the full width of Emily’s Country, her life, her Dreaming and her art, giving expression to her statement that she always paints ‘whole lot, whole lot everything’. The dots, structured as swirling formations, create a dynamic sense of movement across the entire canvas. This lush work was created in what Emily called the ‘green time’, which occurs after the rains: the verdant green of fresh, thick vegetation, making the earth seem to surge with life. Japanese and Western audiences alike comment on its resonance with Monet. It is a revisionist work executed on commission, a year after completion of the 22-panelled Alhalkere Suite 1993, which stimulated its production." National Museum of Australia 

Adrian Newstead

Created during workshop at Arlpara, Utopia on Eastern Anmatjerre clan lands organised by Dacou Gallery 1994

Private Collection, South Australia

Lawson~Menzies, Aboriginal Fine Art sale, May 2007

Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum, Alice Springs, NT

A folio of 9 photographs of Emily painting Earth’s Creation I accompanies the work. In addition, a lengthy video of the artist at work on this major commission can be acquired by application to the artist’s family.


Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Alhalkere, Paintings from Utopia

  • Queensland Art Gallery, February – April 1998
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, May - July 1998
  • National Gallery of Victoria, September - November 1998

Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye

  • National Museum of Osaka, February – April 2008
  • National Art Centre, Tokyo, May – July 2008
  • National Museum of Australia

Neale, Margo (ed.) (1998). Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Alhalkere, Paintings from Utopia, Queensland Art Gallery, MacMillan, p.31 Illust.pp116-117
Neale, Margo (ed.) (2008). Utopia : the genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Canberra: National Museum of Australia Press. Illust.pp124-125
Neale, Margo (ed.) (2008). Utopia : the genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Japan: National Museumof Art, Osaka, National Art Centre, Tokyo, Yomiuri Shimbun, National Museum of Australia, pp20-21 Illust. pp160-161
Dr. Anne Runhardt (ed.) (2009). Emily Kame Kngwarreye, The Person and her Paintings, Ability Press, Adelaide, pp134-135 illust. Pp188-189

In addition, Earth’s Creation I has been the subject of dozens of press and magazine articles. For a short list of selected writing visit the paintings own wikipedia pageEmily Kame Kngwarreye is the highest-ranking artist in the Australia Indigenous Art Market Index, a measure of her sales performance on the secondary market. 

In May 2007 Lawson~Menzies more than doubled Kngwarreye's previous record when Earth's Creation 1995 $1,056,000 against an estimate of $500,000-700,000.  This marked the first time an Indigenous Australian artwork had exceeded the $1 million dollar mark at a public sale and still stands as the highest price ever paid for a work of art by any Australian female.

The work, created in four panels measuring a total of 632 x 275 cm, was typical of her 1994-1995 period, wildly colourful produced by double dipping brushes into pots of layered paint thereby creating floral impressions with alternately coloured variegated outlines. Despite her age, Emily’s physicality is evident in her paintings. She often painted with a brush in each hand which she pounded down together onto the canvas spreading the bristles and leaving the coagulating paint around the neck of the brush to create depth and form.

Like her Anmatyerre clanswomen from Utopia, Emily participated in ceremony (Awelye) to make herself happy. Paintings, like this, produced in summer were usually more colourful and highly charged with energy than those done in the dry season due to the keyed up expectation of rain, the excitement of its arrival and the explosive flowering of the desert.