Cooee Art Gallery is pleased to present a wonderfully colourful and exciting solo exhibition by Genevieve Kemarr Loy, an emerging artist from the Utopia region.
Genevieve is the granddaughter of Artist Nancy Petyarr and daughter of Cowboy Loy Pwerl, from whom she learned how and what subjects to paint. She paints her father’s country, which lies on the western side of Sandover River on Utopia Station. Her story is of the Bush Turkey, for which her father is senior custodian. She is one of the most naturally gifted and inspiring painters to have come out of the Utopia region in some time. Since 2010, she has been a finalist in the Blake Prize, the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, the Paddington Art Prize, the Fleurieu Art Prize, the Churchie, the National Emerging Art Exhibition, and the Alice Prize. Her works have been acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia, Deakin University, Melbourne, along with numerous private collections around the world.
Genevieve’s works show a natural grasp of colour, design, and resolved aesthetic direction. Her Arwengerrp (Bush Turkey) and Akwerlkerrmwerlkerr (Green Plant) paintings combine the traditional meticulous dots with elegant wisps, creating vibrant, pulsating, and richly textured surfaces. Genevieve’s paintings are characterised by the gently beautiful handling of paint, a harmonious sense of colour and great control of the delicate spidery marks that make their way across her canvas. While these works are solidly planted within the established cultural conventions, Genevieve’s paintings are original and independently inspired; they represent her own re-imagining of the Dreaming stories. The strong diagonals that anchor each painting are a stylistic choice that represent the spatial ‘Dream lines’. To borrow from Margo Neale, they evoke ‘a sense of the timelessness embodied in ancestral continuity’.
The works all relate directly to the ‘creator of her country’, the Bush Turkey, and while Cowboy Loy depicts the nesting place of the Bush Turkey, Genevieve shows its tracks as it travels between its nesting place and various waterholes searching for seeds and other tucker. On a more complex cultural level, her works relate to Anmatyerr ceremonies, offering a significant depiction of the relationship between Genevieve and her country in Utopia, Central Australia.
Dr. Christine Nicholls has referred to the paintings of Iylenty artists, of which Genevieve is the most inspired descendent, as being “more than simple reconstructions of visible spatial features”. They offer “an integrated spatial, environmental, economic, spiritual and moral ‘reading’ of the land”.