Aboriginal Desert Art Gallery, Melbourne
Andrej Janchevski, Colour Square Collection, Melbourne
Lawson~Menzies, Important Aboriginal Art, June 2008
Private Collection, Vic
The subject of this work is Arlatyey, the Pencil Yam or Bush Potato. This is a valuable food source and the subject of important songs, dances, and ceremonies amongst Eastern Anmatyerre people. It was the subject of a great number of Emily Kngwarreye’s paintings, which were created in a vast array of vibrant colours.
In this painting, Emily has characterised the roots of the yam in the plant’s full period of maturity. As the foliage dies off, cracks appear in the ground, which trace the root system, and indicate that the engorged tubers are ready to be dug up and eaten. Solid lines, stark and unadorned, trace the meandering paths of the pencil yam roots as they forge their way through the desert sands.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye was born at Anilitye (Boundary Bore) and began painting on canvas in her late 70s. She was awarded the Australian Creative Fellowship in 1992 and continued painting prolifically until her death in 1996.Share