Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910 – 1996)  is known as the most uniquely talented and successful artist in the history of contemporary Indigenous Australian art.

Amazingly, Emily only began to paint late in life in her 80’s, which coincided with the flourishing Australian central desert art movement of the 1980’s.

While other artists where painting in the classic dotting style developed by Geoffrey Bardon in the 1970’s, Emily was producing works in a very contemporary abstract minimalist style, which quickly attracted the attention of critics and collectors around the world.

In May 2007, her 1994 painting “Earth’s Creation” was purchased by Tim Jennings of Mbantua Gallery & Cultural Museum for A$1,056,000 at auction, setting a new record for an Aboriginal artwork.

When Emily was asked what her paintings represent, she would say;

“Whole lot, that’s whole lot, Awelye (my Dreaming), Arlatyeye (pencil yam), Arkerrthe (mountain devil lizard), Ntange (grass seed), Tingu (Dreamtime pup), Ankerre (emu), Intekwe (favourite food of emus, a small plant), Atnwerle (green bean), and Kame (yam seed). That’s what I paint, whole lot.”