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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Awelye - 1993

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
91.0 x 122.0 cm
Price Realised: $73,200.00

MP #710


Delmore Gallery, NT Cat. No. 93K026
Thomas Vroom Collection, The Netherlands
Ebes Collection, Vic

accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Delmore Gallery

Emily's middle name, Kame, is taken from the yam Dreaming site at Alhalkere. The nutritional value of the yam is hidden underground, in the swollen roots and their pod-like attachments which are difficult to locate as the plant's unpredictable growth patterns make harvest complicated and specialised. Traditionally, much effort is expended across large areas in the harvest of this valuable food.


This wildly colourful canvas was created with prodigious energy and bravura in 1993. Despite her age (83 at the time), Emily’s physicality is clearly evident. She painted with a brush in each hand, simultaneously pounding them down onto the canvas. The runnels of dotted colour across the surface lacks formal arrangement as do the roots and branches of the actual plant.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is widely regarded as Australia's most important and successful Aboriginal artist. Her remarkable career lasted just 7 years until her passing at 86 years of age in 1996. The painterly quality and originality of her works extended her influence far beyond the reach of Aboriginal art, attracting an international audience ready to acclaim her new and innovative style which remains as popular today as they did almost 25 years ago.