Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 November 2007

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

(1910 - 1996)

synthetic polymer paint on canvas

151.5 x 122.0 cm

inscribed with artist's name and Delmore Gallery
catalogue number verso: 93A175/ Emily Kngwarreye
inscribed with title and dated on label attached verso: Emu Country, January 1993
accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory

$8,000 - $12,000
Sold for $9,000 (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

Catalogue text

This is Emu country - called Alalgura. The male emu's role is to look after the emu chicks and keep them in sight of their home and not beyond their preferred seeds and fruits. These foods include the Indoorkwa, a small purple plum, and the Anooralya, a long thin yam with a small flower. The random track of the Emu grazing across the landscape underlies the work.

It is often an important and historical ceremony that is triggered by the nature and/or timing of the season that provokes Emily's memory and lasting emotions. In this case, she has painted following summer rains that are accompanied by the annual ceremonial season. She also believes that through ceremony ('awelye') and her belief in the power of the desert, she can help provoke the desert's hidden energy into a new and bountiful season, and consequent crop of bush tucker. The young girls who inherit custodial responsibility for the desert foods learn moral and social codes through the stories of their ancestors. Providing these codes are followed, and fortune has it, these girls will raise a family and symbolize the fertile and tough nature of the desert and all of its living species.


Delmore Downs, Northern Territory