First Auction Date Announced

The Most Important Contemporary Australian Painting To Be Offered For Sale At Public Auction In A Decade

The embargo has been lifted, and Cooee Art is delighted to announce that its secondary art platform the Art MarketPlace will hold its first Aboriginal art auction in Sydney on Tuesday, November 14th with a tightly curated 60-80 lot sale.

In order to conduct this and future auctions of Aboriginal Art over the next 2 years, Cooee Art, owner of Australia’s oldest Aboriginal Art Gallery, has teamed up with the world’s newest online auction platform, Fine Art Bourse (F.A.B.), a revolutionary strategic alliance that will cut the buyer’s premium by 80% compared to other auction houses in Australia. The traditional and current model for auctions is a Buyers Premium of 25% on top of the hammer price yet this collaboration has slashed this to just 5%.

“There needs to be an incentive for a new generation of buyers. The traditional paradigm has never been challenged. We believe that this is an opportunity for us to take Aboriginal Art to the world and meet the buyer on their terms, in their living room, on their phone in real time and with no hidden costs”Mirri Leven

In what is a major coup, Cooee Art directors Adrian Newstead OAM and Mirri Leven, have secured Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s Earth’s Creation I, the most important contemporary Australian painting to be offered for sale at public auction in a decade.


In 2007, Earth’s Creation I, set the highest price ever paid for an Australian Aboriginal artwork when it was sold for $1,056,000 by Adrian Newstead at Lawson~Menzies art auctions, to Alice Springs gallerist Tim Jennings against spirited international competition. This is still the record price paid for the work of any Australian female artist, eclipsing its nearest rival Market Under Tress, created in 1919 by Ethel Carrick Fox.

Emily was 84 years of age when she created Earth’s Creation in 1994. The canvas was prepared by her niece Barbara Weir by sewing four 2 metre wide lengths of Belgian linen together in such a way that the four panels comprising the finished 6.32 x 2.75 metre work could be hung seamlessly. This contemporary masterpiece is a dynamic tour de force that pays reverence to the sacredness of the Earth, the artist’s ancestry, and her custodianship of a vast region of Australia’s Eastern Desert. It has been discussed in art circles as an action painting comparable Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles in terms of its verve and value in the history of world art.

"It's one of the defining works of contemporary indigenous art."     Sydney Morning Herald, May 2007

Her passing on September the 2nd 1996, left a legacy of profound and invaluable significance in the art world. The Sydney Morning Herald obituary reported her death as the ‘Passing of a Home Grown Monet’.

Earth’s Creation was included in the artist’s solo retrospective curated by Margo Neale for the Queensland Art Gallery in 1998 and shown at the Art Gallery of New South Wales shortly thereafter.

During the decade since it was last offered for sale, Earth’s Creation I was included in Emily Kngwarreye’s solo exhibition at the National Museum of Osaka, the National Gallery in Tokyo, Japan and at the National Museum of Australia.

“few artists have painted the country like she has, with an ability to penetrate its very soul.”  Prof Margo Neale Curator Emily Kngwarreye Retrospective, National Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

In 2015, Earth’s Creation I, was chosen by Okwui Enwezor, Director of the 56th Venice Biennale, to be included in the International Art Exhibition - All the World's Futures, at the Giardini della Biennale, one of the main exhibition venues in Venice.


For more information on this painting, the Cooee Art MarketPlace auction or its relationship with Fine Art Bourse contact:

Adrian Newstead 0412 126 645
 or Mirri Leven 0416 379 691


- Entries Invited -

Please contact

Emily Painting Earths Creation 1 1994

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

AIAM Rank 1 AIAM Rating 37.3548