Mulga Bore Artists, NT (Rodney Gooch)
Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW cat no. 5.894 MBA
The Collection of John Wregg and Judith Alexander, NSW
Cooee Art, NSW
During a whirlwind painting career that lasted just eight years, octogenarian Emily Kame Kngwarreye became Aboriginal Australia’s most successful living artist and carved an enduring presence in the history of Australian art.
Her finest paintings are entirely intuitive and were executed with rapid, confident motion. The strength she developed while working with camels and labouring during her earlier life was clearly evident as she painted. She worked as if possessed, drawing long meandering lines and bashing out fields of dots with powerful hands, displaying her ability to use the most unlikely overlays of colours to create deeply luminous works.
In this small work, horizontal stripes sear the canvas as they map the body-painting used in Awelye — women’s public song ceremonies.
All of Emily's work was about one story — Alhalkere — her country, her people, her Dreamings. Panels such as this are among her boldest works — raw, gutsy and tough. They evoke the confidence and unique vision that characterised her short but stellar career as a contemporary Aboriginal artist.
Despite the stylistic variations, all of Kngwarreye’s work is about one story — Alhalkere — her country, her people, her dreamings. The panels are among her boldest expressions — raw, gutsy and tough — and evoke the confidence and unique vision that characterise Kngwarreye’s short career as a contemporary Aboriginal artist.