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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Yam Dreaming - 1995

synthetic polymer paint on arches hand-made paper
56 x 77 cm
Price Realised: $7,015.00

MP #588


Provenance

Dacou Gallery (Catalogue number obscured by frame), SA
Flinders Lane Gallery, Vic Cat No. FG010061.EK
Private Collection, Vic

Signed 'Emily' lower right hand corner

56 x 77 cm
78 x 98 cm (frame)

The root system of the yam plant is a complex mass that stretches a long way underground and spreads up to 12 metres from the centre point. At ground level, the yam exhibits bright green leaves with yellow flowers and its branches cover a great deal of surface area. It is found in woodlands, close to water sources.

The yam is most abundant after rainfall, when the root system develops rapidly. Several months later, the plant dies off and Aboriginal women look for cracks in the earth indicating where the roots and tubers are located. Often, large areas are excavated in their search to find the edible tubers of the plant. Once found, the yams are taken back to the community, where they are eaten raw or cooked. They have a rather bland taste but make a filling meal.

In the Yam Dreaming, the Emily is paying homage to the spirit of the yam plant, so that it regenerates year after year to feed people.