Utopia Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is one of Australia's most significant contemporary artists. Emily was born at the beginning of the twentieth century and grew up in a remote desert area known as Utopia, 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, distant from the art world that sought her work.
Although Emily began to paint late in her life she was a prolific artist who often worked at a pace that belied her advanced age. It is estimated that she produced over 3000 paintings in the course of her eight-year painting career — an average of one painting per day.For virtually two-thirds of her life she had only sporadic contact with the outside world. It was not until she was about 80 that she became, almost overnight, an artist of national and international standing.
Her remarkable work was inspired by her cultural life as an Anmatyerre elder, and her lifelong custodianship of the women's Dreaming sites in her clan Country, Alhalkere.(National Museum of Australia)





 Kngwarreye went through many different individual styles in her short career as a professional painter. In 1992, she began to join the dots into lines with parallel horizontal and vertical stripes, representing rivers and terrain, in many different colours. She began using larger brushes than previously. Her later paintings were based on much larger dots than the finer, more intricate work which she did when she started.
In 1993 she began painting patches of colour along with many dots, which were like rings that were clear in the middle as seen in Alaqura Profusion (1993). This was made with a shaving brush that was called her 'dump dump' style, which used very bright colours. The same style of rings of colour are also seen in My Mothers Country and Emu Country (1994).






 In 1995 she ended what critics called her 'colourist' phase and began painting with plain stripes that crossed the canvas. The originally thick stripes often represented the lines of yam tracks, as in Yam Dreaming (1994) and Bush Yam (1995). She expressed the strange growth patterns of the yam, a plant which was critical for human survival in the desert, but was very difficult to find.
Later in 1995 her paintings started to resemble in some ways the American abstract expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock, with many thinner lines that criss-crossed the canvas. Her main theme continued to be yams, as in Yam Dreaming Awelye (1995) and also in black-and-white Yam Dreaming paintings. Several weeks before her death, Kngwarreye painted many canvases over a 3-day period in 1996, using a very thick brush, as in Body Paint (1996)Wikipedia




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