Emily Kam Kngwarray

One of Australia and the world’s most significant contemporary painters, Emily Kam Kngwarray was first introduced to painting on canvas with acrylic paints in her late 70s, and between then and her death eight years later, in 1986, painted so prolifically it is estimated she completed more than three thousand works. An Anmatyerre elder and founding member of the Utopia Women’s Batik Group, the extraordinary artist grew up and worked almost completely remotely from the art world, which sought out and exhibited her paintings of Alhalker, her Country, and its Dreaming. This monumental survey at the National Gallery of Australia brings together the most important paintings, textiles and works on paper from international and national collections by the artist, from her early batik works to some of the last paintings she completed in her life. Awelye (women’s ceremonies and body paint), arlatyeye (pencil yam), ntang (seed), ankerre (emu) and her namesake kame (yam seed) are among the most frequently appearing motifs in her vibrant and lyrical oeuvre. Building on the National Gallery’s Know My Name initiative, Emily Kam Kngwarray also features an audiovisual collaboration with the artist’s community as it celebrates the timeless practice of the preeminent artist until April 28, 2024.


Roslyn Oxley Gallery IMALENNOX STACMIACCA MelbourneMCA