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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Arlatyte Dreaming (Pencil Yam) - 1996

synthetic polymer paint and earth pigment on Belgian linen
61.0 x 92.0 cm
EST. $10,000 - $12,000

MP #517


Utopia Art (Central Land Council), NT Cat No. EKK9711
Gallery Gondwana, NT Cat No. 1765
Eva Breuer Art Dealer, NSW
Private Collection, NSW


Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW, Contemporary Aboriginal Art, August - September 2019

Emily’s first experience of serious painting was the making of boldly fluid marks on the greased black skin of her countrywomen in white, brown, and yellow ochre.


During 1996, the last year of her life, Allan Glaester ran a nascent art centre in the Utopia community. As as a result of his ideologically motivated efforts to influence Central and Eastern Desert painters back to using natural earth pigments as a medium, Emily produced a body of work in ochres in which she depicted Pencil Yams (Arlatyte) and their flowers. An exhibition of these was held at Lauraine Diggins Fine Art in Melbourne in the same year.

This painting was among Emily's first attempts at using natural ochres to depict her Arlatyey Dreaming. Usually, Emily painted her works from an aerial perspective, whereas this view of the bush yam appears to have been conceived from ground level; as if the women, covered in ochre and representing their totem, are dancing across a ceremonial ground in a line.

Rf. for other examples of Emily's ochre paintings executed at the same time, see 'Emily Kame Kngwarreye: The First Ochres', Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, March 1996