CEREMONY 1994, 1994

Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 November 2007

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

(1910 - 1996)
CEREMONY 1994, 1994

synthetic polymer paint on canvas

152.0 x 121.5 cm

signed lower right: Emlly [sic.]
signed verso: Emlly [sic.]
inscribed with artist's name and Delmore Gallery catalogue number verso: Emily Kngwarreye/ 94H054/ Delmore Gallery, via/ ALICE SPRINGS, N.T. 0871
inscribed with title and dated on label attached verso: Ceremony/ August 1994
accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Delmore Gallery

$40,000 - $60,000
Sold for $36,000 (inc. BP) in Auction 3 - 29 November 2007, Melbourne

Commissioned by Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
Applied Chemicals Collection, Melbourne


Of My Country: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, The Applied Chemicals Collection, Bendigo Art Gallery, 1 - 30 May 1999, and touring various venues throughout Victoria and New South Wales, June 1999 - April 2000 (illus. exhibition catalogue)

Catalogue text

On this canvas, the artist's choice of a rich yellow represents the most important plant in her custodianship, namely the 'Anooralya', a hardy and fertile plant that provides both a tuber vegetable and a seed-bearing flower called 'kame' - Emily's tribal name. Other colours reflect the time of the season when particular bush flowers flourish. These flowers contain seeds that are collected to make types of seed cake, damper, medicines and love potions. Other colours symbolise the 'ndorkwa' or bush plum, when unripe. The dots being placed in lineal fashion and placed among lines connects with the practice of anointing the body with lineal designs during ceremony - thus adding another dimension of celebration in the execution of his painting.

Ceremony reinforces through narrative the significance of this knowledge. As well, it teaches basic social codes and obligations. Through her paintings, Emily serves to reinforce her knowledge among those who are to carry on after her.


Delmore Downs, Northern Territory