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Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Alalgura Country - 1993

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
151.0 x 91.0 cm
Price Realised: $61,000.00

MP #713


Delmore Gallery, NT Cat. No. 93L043
Private Collection, Qld
Ebes Collection, Vic

Artwork Size: 151 x 91 cm 

Framed Size: 157 x 97.5 cm

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is widely regarded as Australia's most important and successful Aboriginal artist. Her remarkable career lasted just seven years prior to her death in 1996 at 86 years of age. The painterly quality and originality of her works extended her influence beyond the reach of Aboriginal art and attracted an international audience ready to acclaim her new and innovative contemporary style.


The use of colour in this painting reflects the hot outback summers, when little rain has fallen. The lines indicate the growth pattern of the Anooralya finger yam at its peak, ready to fall into decline and brought to maturity by the intense and unforgiving summer sun. In her layered approach we also see the sporadic clustering of plants in later stages of maturity. Understanding the life cycle of these plants is vital to survival in the bush. This is affirmed within the narrative of the song cycle sung during the ceremony, which ensures seasonal abundance, reinforces the significance of this knowledge and teaches social codes and obligations to the next generation.