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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Untitled - Anooralya Yam Dreaming - 1994

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
91.5 x 121.5 cm
Estimate Upon Request

MP #308


Delmore Gallery, NT Cat No. 94A023
Private Collection, NT


Cf. For a stylistically similar work see Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Craftsman House & G+ B Arts International, 1998 pp 117-121, Plates 46-50

Reflected in this work is the Anooralya Yam, the most important plant in Emily’s custodianship. This hardy and fertile plant provides both a tuber vegetable and a seed bearing flower called Kame (Emily’s tribal name). As the plant dies off above the ground, the yam tuber can be found where cracks in the earth’s surface indicates its presence underground.


The application of red and yellow colours, highlights the varied and changing hues in the life cycle of the Anooralya Yam and other food plants found near Alalgura on Utopia Station, west of Delmore Downs. From an aerial perspective we see sporadic clustered growth after summer rain.

We also look on this exciting work as a water catchment area. The rain falls and water slowly flows along the broad shallow watercourse and replenishes the soakage at Alalgura. The flourish of growth that follows is exceptional and rapid.

Ceremony reinforces through the verses of the song cycle, the significance of this knowledge. In particular, it teaches survival, basic social codes and obligations.