Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 August 2018


(c.1910 – 1996)

synthetic polymer paint on linen

120.0 x 90.0 cm

signed verso: emlly
bears inscription verso: Delmore Gallery cat. 95G007

$18,000 – 25,000
Sold for $29,280 (inc. BP) in Auction 55 - 29 August 2018, Sydney

Delmore Gallery, Alice Springs
Private collection, Perth, acquired from the above in 1997

This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Delmore Gallery, Alice Springs.

Catalogue text

Renowned for her colourful and vibrant paintings, Emily Kngwarreye chronicled on canvas the ever-changing desert country of her homeland Alhalkere. Located at the western edge of Utopia this triangular shaped country was where Emily was born and where she lived in the traditional ways of the eastern Anmatyerre, following a way of life that had continued unchanged from long before European presence. Her mark making recorded the seasonal variations, sometime subtle, often dramatic, of the harsh desert environment and the explosion of growth that occurred after rain. Referred to by Emily as the ‘green time’1, the desert would come to life, wildflowers carpeting the red earth and plants and grasses flourishing, supplying the women with seeds, tubers and fruit.

Kame Colour, 1995 records the cyclical change as desert plants bloom after summer rains. Dots merge, separate and fuse into various configurations creating lines of colour. It is a time of ceremony and of the harvesting of wild fruits and vegetables. As Janet Holt notes, this painting records a time when ‘life erupts and spreads forth’ and the ‘energy that exudes from this composition is undeniably strong with the palette highlighting the colours of the yam flower Kame’,2 Emily Kngwarreye’s totem. With its cascading layers of red, yellow, pink, white and orange dots, Kame Colour is a celebration of nature at its most potent.

1. Isaacs, J., ‘Amatyerre Woman’ in Isaacs, J., Smith, T., Ryan, J., Holt, D., and Holt, J., Emily Kame Kngwarreye Paintings, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1998, p. 13
2. From the accompanying Delmore Gallery certificate of authenticity