A Ceremonial Expression, 1994

71 Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c1910 – 1996)
A Ceremonial Expression, 1994
synthetic polymer paint on linen
151.5 x 91.0 cm
signed verso: Emily inscribed verso: Delmore Gallery cat. 94L005
Sold for $31,200 (inc. BP) in Auction 15 - 21 July 2010, Melbourne


Commissioned by Delmore Gallery, Alice Springs
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
Applied Chemicals Collection, Melbourne
Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 29 November 2007, lot 36
Private collection, Brisbane

This painting is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory.

The ceremonial process of handing on knowledge inspires a belief in all participants that ritual contributes to the continuing fertility and hardiness of life sustaining plant species.

The dramatic gestural lines on this work relate to the body paint lines applied to the upper torso, arms and thighs. They are applied whilst the songline of ancestors is sung stanza by stanza. At different intervals, a group of selected women dance particular stanzas on an ajacent cleared space.

The colours of the lines are an exaggerated reflection of the changing colours of the Anooralya Yam flower. Such a resourceful plant is considered very important in traditional lifestyle conditions. Ceremony is an affirmation of the spiritual power of the people of the desert. Emily believes that ritual ensures the continuing life cycle of all desert life forms and that her knowledge is fundamental to this.