2000/0112 Arlatyite Dreaming

Arlatyite Dreaming

Artist

Emily Kam KNGWARREYE
Aboriginal/Indigenous
Birth:
c 1910
 in
Utopia, Northern Territory
Death:
1996
 in
Northern Territory

Artwork

Title
Arlatyite Dreaming
Date
1995
Medium/Material
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Dimensions
125.0 x 221.0cm (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Gift of Sue and Ian Bernadt, 2000
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
2000/0112
Currently not on display

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Extended Label

Emily Kame Kngwarreye was a senior member of her community, the Anmatyere people, and keeper of many traditional stories that she expressed through her art. She began painting on canvas when she was 80 years old and continued painting until her death in 1996. Her paintings reflect the ceremonial and spiritual importance of her daily life and the totemic meaning of plants, animals, land and water. Kngwarreye's work portrays a deep understanding and connection with her Country, the Alhalkere which is also known as Alalgura.During her short painting career of only 8 years Kngwarreye developed many different painting styles. She started her career utilising traditional dot work and later began to paint using horizontal or vertical broad brush strokes. These were often based on traditional body painting designs that are painted on women for ceremony.The painting Artlatyite Dreaming is a dynamic example of this style. There is a strong sense of gestural innovation in this painting. The intertwining meandering strokes on the black canvas represent underground networks of atnulare [finger yams] a common food source for Indigenous people living on Alhalkere.Kngwarreye is often compared to impressionists like Claude Monet as well as modern abstract painters, such as Jackson Pollock. In Artlatyite Dreaming you see the same use of organically interwoven lines that Pollock uses in his paintings.Only a week before Kngwarreye died there was a radical shift in her work, her paintings become alive with vibrant colour, painted with wide brushes over black backgrounds and deviating away from her previous styles.Emily Kngwarreye's career may have been relatively short but her paintings which resonate as contemporary abstractions, have had a profound impact on Australian art as well as international perception of the art of Indigenous Australia.Shorter version for SAC 2011Emily Kame Kngwarreye was a senior member of her community, the Anmatyere people, and keeper of many traditional stories that she expressed through her art. She began painting on canvas when she was 80 years old and continued painting until her death in 1996. Her paintings reflect the ceremonial and spiritual importance of her daily life and the totemic meaning of plants, animals, land and water. Kngwarreye's work portrays a deep understanding and connection with her Country, the Alhalkere which is also known as Alalgura. The painting Artlatyite Dreaming is a dynamic example one of her signature styles which through emplying a strong sense of gesture she depicts the intertwining underground networks of atnulare [finger yams] a common food source for Indigenous people living on Alhalkere.

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Vernon id: 14778