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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Alatyite (Spinifex) Dreaming - 1995

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
117.0 x 86.5 cm
Price Realised: $31,720.00

MP #708


Provenance

Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 4533
Ebes Collection, Vic

accompanied by a certificate booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings and an image of the artist holding the artwork

This painting is an aerial perspective of Emily's country in the spring of 1992. From late 1991 onwards Emily explored a range of techniques having largely abandoned the fine dotting and submerged linear tracing which characterised her earlier works. She began using larger brushes to create broader circular dabs of paint which often involved 'double dipping' the brush in a second colour before applying the paint to the canvas. This technique enabled her to work vigorously, while making delicate flower-like impressions as are seen in this work of the period.

 

The work is fascinating in that it combines two different techniques that were to define her art thereafter. The floral impressions created by the double-dipped brush and the linear tracing that it eventually gave way to.

 

Alatyite is a common form of bush tucker. At Utopia, this small, spiky bush with spinifex-like characteristics, contains within its root system long tubers which are collected by the women and taken back to the camp where they are cooked and eaten. Alatyite is narrow in shape and reaches up to 15cm in height. It was one of Kngwarreye's most important stories.