THE LUME Melbourne is proud to present the largest display of Anmatyerre artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s work in 15 years as part of Connection. This page contains names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Anmatyerre woman Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c. 1910 - 1996) is widely considered one of Australia’s most significant First Nations artists.
Kngwarreye’s works stem from a deep connection to her homeland in a remote desert area known as Utopia, 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. Her remarkable oeuvre was inspired by her cultural life as an Anmatyerre Elder, and her lifelong custodianship of the women’s Dreaming sites in her clan Country, Alhalkere.
Kngwarreye did not begin painting until her 70s, but quickly gained international recognition for her distinctive artistic style, incorporating references to flora, fauna and Dreamtime figures from her environment. Kngwarreye was incredibly prolific, painting of over 3,000 pieces before her passing.
Many of Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s pieces are featured within the primary Connection experience, including Earth's Creation I, and a number of pieces from her My Country - Final Series, 1996.
One of Kngwarreye’s most notable works, Emily's Wall was an idea conceived and commissioned by art dealer and collector Hank Ebes in 1994.
While undertaking a trip to meet Kngwarreye on her Country, Ebes suggested to Kngwarreye that she paint a giant mural depicting a one year period of her life.
Prior to commencing the work, the consent of the Traditional Male Owners of the land was required. Greeny Purvis Petyerre, an artist in his own right and the owner, graciously granted permission, enabling Kngwarreye to commence painting.
A stunning representation of Kngwarreye's view of the passing seasons in her world, each 120cm x 90cm panel in Emily's Wall was painted during a single week over the course of one year. The largest and final piece, the triptych centrepiece, was completed in late 1995.
Emily's Wall is publicly displayed for the first time in Australia as part of Connection at THE LUME Melbourne, with its impact further heighted by a mirrored floor and ceiling, providing an illusion of infinite depth. This illusion symbolises the enduring legacy of the eminent Aboriginal artist – and the infinite nature of time itself.
Emily's Wall is on loan to THE LUME Melbourne for the duration of Connection from Hank Ebes, and has been stunningly incorporated into this infinite installation developed by Grande Experiences. Comprising 53 individual works, this presentation of Emily's Wall is the largest presentation of Kngwarreye’s art presented in 15 years.