Emily Kame Kngwarreye Biography

Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting at Delmore

Emily Kngwarreye’s laughter was captivating and electrifying, like her paintings. She had a great sense of humour and a confident demeanour, which, when coupled with her loud yet melodious voice and complex wit made her a fascinating character indeed. Like her art, she was never boring, always colourful and occasionally unpredictable.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c. 1910-1996) was a senior member of the Anmatyerre community and resident at Utopia in the Northern Territory, a former cattle station reclaimed by its traditional Indigenous Australian owners in 1979.

Emily was born at Alhalkere in the northwest corner of Utopia Station, and grew up working on various cattle stations. In June 1934 at approximately twenty-four years old, Emily strode into the Macdonald Downs Homestead (100 kilometres east of Alhalkere) and announced to one and all that she intended to work in the house and muster cattle with sisters Jessie Holt (née Chalmers) and Jean Weir (née Chalmers). Working together, the women became firm friends, often chasing down the big perenties (extremely large lizards) on horseback, finding wild honey and a wide variety of bush tucker on the fertile river flats. It is from this friendship that a strong bond of mutual respect would later grow between Don Holt (Jessie Holt’s son) and Emily Kngwarreye, before and during her brilliant career as a contemporary artist.

Emily commenced painting on fabric in the batik technique in 1977. Initially instructed by Yipati, a Pitjantjatjara artist from Ernabella and Suzie Bryce, a craft instructor. Later Jenny Green taught her to drive a car and sign her name at Utopia. Jenny Green and Julia Murray became enthusiastic teachers and soon had approximately eighty people, including several men, producing wild and free-flowing coloured silk and cotton batiks.

At the time, the market for batik was very small, and Jenny and Julia found it hard to survive. At Delmore, the Holt family bought over 200 batiks, which was only a small part of the work produced. Some of these works have now become treasured pieces.

Emily's unique and beautiful silk batiks had their first public exhibition, 'Artworks', in 1980, with Mona Byrne, a successful businesswoman and artist herself, who had been born and raised at Hermansberg, 80 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Mona had previously held exhibitions of her own work and had promoted the early Hermansburg watercolour landscape artists, including Albert Namatjira. Mona (née Johannssen) spread the word about the Utopia batik artists across the Territory and throughout Australia.

More exhibitions followed: 'Floating forests of silk' at the Adelaide Festival Centre in 1981, curated by Silver Harris; The Sydney Craft Expo and the Brisbane Commonwealth Games Exhibition in 1982, then the Adelaide Festival Centre and the Alice Springs Craft Council in 1983. State galleries also began to acquire some pieces.

Over the next three years, the Utopia batik silks were shown across the nation in Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Darwin, Perth, Alice Springs and Hobart.

In 1988, CAAMA  (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) became involved in helping to promote the Utopia artists. Anne Marie Brodie, curator for The Holmes a Court Family, travelled to Utopia several times with Rodney Gooch, the manager of CAAMA, where 88 silks, including one by Emily, were commissioned, then acquired by the Holmes a Court Family of Perth, WA.

In April 1989 an exhibition was held at the S. H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney, which was well received. Emily's work was outstanding and attracted a lot of attention. From there, 77 oval shaped paintings toured North America under the auspices of The Austral Gallery, Saint Louis. As well as Emily Kame Kngwarreye and other Utopia women including Gloria Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Violet Petyarre, Polly Ngale, Kathleen Ngale, Angelina Ngale, Lily Sandover Kngwarreye and Joy Kngwarreye; ten men also participated in this project.

Emily Kngwarreye produced her first painting on linen in 1988. She was the leader of a number of song cycles for particular women’s ceremonies. Her paintings were mostly based on Anmatyerre body painting designs, awelye; Dreaming sites especially associated with the emu, and the tubers and flowers of the bush yam.

Emily always enjoyed the company of Lily Kngwarreye, whose father, Jacob, had adopted her into his family and the Alyawarre tribe. Lily was a strong, gentle woman, who had a baby with Emily's ex-husband, giving him an heir and Emily a son, to whom she was devoted. The two women were like sisters and the best of friends, and would most often be seen painting together.

In April 1989, Emily Kngwarreye, Lily Sandover Kngwarreye and Joy Kngwarreye approached the Holt family at Delmore, and asked if they could provide materials for them to paint, and then to buy the works. Very quickly Delmore Gallery was formed, commissioning artworks and acting as an art centre for Utopia. Emily, Lily and Joy were the first of 138 people who painted at Delmore that year. The demand for good art, and in particular, Emily's paintings, took off like wildfire over the next decade.

Art dealers from Melbourne and Sydney became very excited, and Delmore Gallery supplied Emily's work to select interstate galleries. Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne, The Coventry and Hogarth Galleries in Sydney were chosen initially as they were the oldest and most successful, and Chandler Coventry, Ace Bourke and Gabrielle Pizzi had good clientele and helped further Emily's career. Much later, Delmore supplied some of Emily's works to Cooee Gallery. Adrien Newstead also kindly introduced the Holts to Barry Stern Gallery in Sydney. In Melbourne, William Mora Galleries showed great enthusiasm in Emily’s works, with William often visiting Delmore to see the artists paint. He quickly became the predominant dealer of Emily’s works in Melbourne.

Don Holt stated that in May 1989, they decided to keep all of the best paintings and create a retrospective group for all of the major artists in the Delmore private collection. Many of these paintings were so good that as Don Holt recalls, 'I did not want to put them into trading stock and sell them when dealers such as William Mora, Dominic Maunsell, or Adrien Newstead rang asking if we had any Emily Kngwarreye art for sale. Yet, we had to continue to sell enough of her artworks to remain viable'.

On 30 October 1989, the first Delmore Gallery Utopia Exhibition of paintings on linen, 'Aboriginal Art from Utopia', opened at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi in Melbourne. Curated by the Holts, and enthusiastically shown by Gabrielle, Emily was the star of the show, and this led to solo exhibitions in 1990 of Emily Kame Kngwarreye paintings in Sydney with Coventry Gallery, in Melbourne with Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, and in Brisbane with Robin Purvis.

These were sold out shows of which Judith Ryan of the NGV was a strong supporter. The early purchase of Emily’s work at Delmore by James Mollison, the director of the National Gallery of Victoria, was very significant, and a powerful message to other curators and gallery directors. Also in 1990, the Robert Holmes a Court Foundation exhibited Emily Kngwarreye and Louie Pwerle at the Perth institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). Noel Sheridan, the director, said:

'Those kinds of modernist, existentialist explorations that moved from a materialist base to abstraction in search of truer articulation are some how confirmed by the powerful knowledge resources that Emily Kngwarreye and others in her community seem to effortlessly draw upon, across thousands of years allowing us to glimpse and see for ourselves what is radical in great art'.

Travelling to Perth was Emily's first trip on an aeroplane and, unfortunately, she had a minor stroke on the return which caused damage to her left arm. As an ambidextrous artist, this left her partially incapacitated and afraid. As a result, she decided to slow down, reduce her workload and to paint mainly in the more relaxed atmosphere at Delmore, where she would drive over from Utopia to paint whenever she felt like it.

By 1990/91, Emily had become a master painter. Her powerful, confident use of colour created sublime works that inspired some critics and curators to compare her to Monet, Pollock, Kandinsky and Matisse.

The growing attraction of Emily’s artworks

Emily absolutely loved an audience. We used to say, 'the bigger the camera, the better the painting', says Don Holt. When visitors watched her paint and then bought Emily’s artworks, she was very happy. Whenever the Holt family at Delmore rang a potential client and let them know that there were Emily Kngwarreye paintings available, they usually came to visit without hesitation. Private collectors and gallery owners from Europe and America flew into Delmore to meet Emily, to watch her paint and to buy her works. The National Gallery of Victoria and The National Gallery of Australia were quick to start collecting Delmore Emily's, followed at a slower pace by the state galleries and many serious private collectors.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye artworks were suddenly in very high demand. At Delmore Gallery, there were Emily paintings done in the yam style since April 1995, when she decided to focus on this fascinating abstract depiction of this most important Anmatyerre food source. For five months, she had been creating beautiful yam paintings at Delmore Gallery and very few people were interested. Now the word was out and major galleries and collectors were ringing to ask whether there were any Emily Kngwarreye paintings for sale.

1995 became a very exciting year for Delmore Gallery and the Holt family. They held a non-selling exhibition of some of the private collection at Mary Place in Sydney, and from then the television crews started arriving, along with journalists and major gallery directors.

When Emily was painting 'Big Yam Dreaming' at Delmore on Saturday 22nd July, 1995, Don Holt received a phone call from Ace Bourke (manager of The Hogarth Gallery in Sydney) who asked whether Delmore Gallery had any Emily Kngwarreye art for sale. He was keen to fly out the next day with a large group of friends to look at Emily Kngwarreye paintings and any other great art that may be available. What transpired on the 23rd of July, has become a legend in the art world. The 'Big Yam Dreaming' painting was not for sale but Tim Klingender, Judy and Ron Behan, Ace Bourke and his sister, and Andre Janczewski witnessed and photographed Emily Kame Kngwarreye paint her masterpiece. It was an amazing day. Described as Kngwarreye's greatest graphic statement, the Holt family presented this painting to The National Gallery of Victoria, where Gallery Director, Timothy Potts, made a commitment to keep the "Big Yam Dreaming" on permanent display at the new Federation Square gallery.

On 24th August 1995, Don commissioned Emily to paint what became a superb piece of artistic poetry. She called it Yam Awelye. Don remembers, 'We decided to give this amazing work of art to the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. It was one of the very best of Emily Kngwarreye’s paintings'. The Delmore Gallery code was 95H085. In the book, Emily Kngwarreye Paintings, Judith Ryan from the National Gallery of Victoria, said of this significant work: 'The paint layer, furious in its intensity, is a flurry of dense overlapping lines and shows the extreme expressionist edge of her paintings'(1998:83).

Don Holt continued to receive enquiries for Emily’s artworks from private collectors and dealers, but ultimately decided to accept the invitation to show an exhibition of some of his private collection of her paintings in Parliament House, Canberra. This opened on the 7th of November 1995. Don later received a letter from the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, which he read to Emily, in which Keating stated that he had greatly enjoyed Emily’s paintings and thanked the Holts for having the exhibition. Emily had previously met Keating in 1992 when she was awarded the Australian Creative Artists Fellowship. She was very pleased that the Prime Minister had enjoyed her work.

Later in 1995, Judith Behan in Canberra held a very successful exhibition of Emily Kame Kngwarreye art for sale at the Chapman gallery, where they were enjoyed by hundreds of art lovers.

Delmore Gallery has been involved in curating fifty Emily Kngwarreye exhibitions, twenty seven solo and thirty three group shows.

During her brief but dazzling career as an artist, Emily Kngwarreye had numerous solo and group exhibitions. She is represented in all major state gallery collections in Australia and in significant collections of contemporary international art in the USA, Europe and the UK. Emily was among the artists chosen to represent Australia at the 1997 Venice Biennale. A retrospective, 'Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Alhalkere — Paintings from Utopia' toured Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in 1998, and in 2008, 'Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye' toured Osaka, Tokyo and Canberra. She is widely considered to be the most important and influential Aboriginal artist to date.

Emily, like most highly successful artists, was often copied and some of these copies are wrongly attributed as her failures.

Emily passed away in Alice Springs on the 2nd of September, 1996.

View Emily Kngwarreye paintings

 

COLLECTIONS

Allen Allen and Hemsley, Sydney
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
Artbank, Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
ATSIC Collection, Canberra
Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand
Australia National University, Canberra
B.P. (Australia)
Benalla Regional Art Gallery, Victoria
Campbelltown City Art Gallery, NSW
Carnegie Collection
Coventry Collection
Delmore Collection, Alice Springs, NT
Donald Khan Collection, Miami, USA
Gantner Myer Collection, San Francisco
Holmes a Court Collection, Heytsbury
Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
Levi Kaplan Collection, Seattle, USA
Lowe Art Museum, University of
Macquarie University, Sydney
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
N.T. Museum & Art Gallery, Darwin
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
The Vatican Collection, Rome
Thomas Vroom Collection, Netherlands
Transfield Collection, Sydney
University of New England, NSW
University of New South Wales, Sydney
University of Sydney Union, Sydney
The Colin and Elizabeth Laverty Collection
The Janet Holt Collection
The Donald Holt Collection 

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    2008

    Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan

    Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan

    Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the National Museum of Australia, Canberra

    The Chapman Gallery and Delmore Gallery present Emily Kame Kngwarreye, The Chapman Gallery, Canberra

    2007

    Earthly Reflections of Heavenly Things, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne 2008

    2006

    Ten Years On Utopia Art, Sydney

    2002

    Emily: Paintings by Emily Kame Kngwarreye from the Holmes a Court Collection Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth

    2000

    Paintings Utopia Art, Sydney.

    1999

    Emily, De oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye – Alhalkere – Paintings from Utopia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

    1998

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye – Alhalkere - Paintings from Utopia, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

    Earth’s Creation: the Paintings of Emily Kngwarreye, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne; Hotel Sofitel, Melbourne.

    1997

    Looking Back, Utopia Art, Sydney

    The Spirit Sings: Paintings by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc in association with Dreaming Art Centre of Utopia .

    Body Painting Series, Robert Steele Gallery, New York; Anima Gallery, Adelaide     

    1996

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye Phillip Bacon Gallery, Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Recent Paintings William Mora Gallery, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kngwarreye Framed Gallery, Darwin, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye c 1910-96, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Blue Paintings, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

    1995

    The Delmore Collection Selected Exhibition and Survey of Works 1989 - 1995, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney

    Recent Paintings 1993-1994 William Mora Gallery, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery

    A New Expression Utopia Art, Sydney

    Installation of Big Yam Story, National Gallery of Victoria, donated by Donald and Janet Holt and family                    

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Paintings from 1989 - 1995, Delmore Collection, Parliament House, Canberra

    Power of the Line Chapman Gallery, Canberra in association with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kngwarreye Framed Gallery, Darwin in association with Delmore Gallery

    1994        

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London in association with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery

    New Directions Utopia Art, Sydney

    1993

    Emily Kngwarreye Hogarth, Sydney, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Recent Paintings by Emily Kngwarreye Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery           

    The Alhalkere suite, Utopia Art, Sydney

    1992

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Alhalkere, Utopia Art, Sydney

    1991

    Emily Kngwarreye, Hogarth, Sydney, in collaboration with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Utopia Art ,Sydney                                                  

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Robin Purvis Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Aboriginal Paintings from the DesertUnion of Soviet Artists Gallery, Moscow and Museum of Ethnographic Art, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    1990

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Coventry Gallery, Sydney, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Paintings by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Robin Purvis Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery

    Utopia Art, Sydney

     

    JOINT EXHIBITIONS

      1995

      Ian Fairweather and Emily Kngwarreye, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

      1994

      Contemporary Australian Masters, Aptos Cruz Gallery, Stirling, S.A. in association with Delmore Gallery

      1990

      Utopia Artists in Residence Project: Louie Pwerle and Emily Kngwarreye

       

      GROUP EXHIBITIONS

      2017

      The Golden Age of Utopia, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin gallery, Brussels, Belgium

      2016

      Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous art from Australia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

      2013

      Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

      2008

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye and her Legacy: Visions of Utopia that Penetrate the Soul of the Eastern Desert, Art Front Gallery Hillside Forum, Tokyo, Japan

      2007

      Delmore @ Le Louvre, Melbourne

      Delmore Gallery – A new Selection of Utopia Art, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney

      Paperweight: Works on Paper by Indigenous Artists, Suzanne O’Connell Gallery, Brisbane

      2006

      Delmore Art of Utopia, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney

      Dreaming Their Way, Australian Aboriginal Women Painters National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA

      Bits and Pieces, Abstract Art Utopia Art, Sydney

      The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Shimonoseki City Art Museum. Shimonoseki, Japan

      Landmarks, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

      Prism: contemporary Australian Art, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Kyobashi, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo

      2005

      Utopia Neville Keating Gallery, London in association with  Delmore Gallery.

      Colour Power: Aboriginal Art post 1984, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

      2004

      Silk: Utopia Batiks from the Homes a Court Collection, Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth

      Talking About Abstraction, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

      The Women’s Show Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Maxie Tjampitjinpa: Classic Images, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

      Home and Away: Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art from the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand

      A Selection of Important Twentieth Century Australian Paintings, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Rover Thomas, Utopia Art, Sydney

      2003

      Australian Contemporary Art in Prague, Toskansky Place, Prague

      Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia

      Big Country: Works from the Flinders University Art Museum Collection, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

      Spirit Country, Echigo Tsumari Triennial: Niigata Prefecture: Hillside Forum, Daikanyama, Tokyo

      2002

      The Year in Review, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Structures of Difference, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA

      Indigenous Works on Paper, Damien Minton Gallery, Newcastle

      Lines II, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

      A Way Through: the Sue and Ian Bernadt Collection, Aboriginal Paintings by Women Artists, Central Tafe Art Gallery, Northbridge, Western Australia

      December Exhibition, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

      Women Painters of the Desert, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

      Discomfort, Women Painters of the Desert, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

      2001

      Museum, Utopia Art Sydney

      Dreamtime: the Dark and the Light, Kunst der Gegennwart, Sammlung EsslVienna, Austria

      Desert Flowering: Aboriginal Art from Private Collections, Manawatu Gallery, New Zealand

      The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki, Japan: Asahikasa Museum of Art, Asahikawa, Japan: Tochigi Prefecturat Museum of fine Arts, Utonomiya, Japan

      2000

      Touring Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art in Modern Worlds, State hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russie: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

      Utopia Art, University of the Sunshine Coast, Library Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland

      1999

      Treading Softly, Chapman Gallery, Canberra,

      Of My Country, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo Victoria

      1998

      Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      Fluent: La Biennale Di Venezia, 1997 (47th), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart; Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

      Painting up the Country I,II,III Raiki Warra: Long Cloth from Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne;Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

      The Ladies of Utopia, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

      1997

      Masterworks: A Classic Collection, Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney, in association with Delmore Gallery

      1996

      Dots, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye: The First Ochres, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne 

      Women of Utopia, Creative Native, Perth

      Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

      Women Hold Up Half the Sky, Monash University Gallery, Victoria

      The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra

      The Gesture, Utopia Art Sydney

      This is My Country - This is Me, Seattle Art Museum, Downtown, Seattle, USA

      Utopia Women, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Flagging the Republic, Sherman Galleries, Sydney and New England Art Museum

      Nangara: The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition - From the Ebes Collection, sichting Sint-Jan, Brugges, Belgium

      Voices of the Earth, Jehangir Nicholson Museum, National Gallery for Performing Arts, Mumbai, India; The Karnataka Chirrakala Parishath, Bangalore, India

      Spirit and Place Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

      The Eye of the Storm: Eight Contemporary Indigenous Australian Artists, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

      ACAF 5: 5th Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

      Return from the Art Fair*, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Aboriginal Australian Art Seattle Art Museum, Seattle USA

      3rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra

      Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Sherman Galleries, Sydney

      Recent Paintings from Utopia: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria Petyarre, Barbara Weir, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

      1995

      Painted Dreams; Western Desert Paintings from the Johnson Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

      Place and Perception: New Acquisitions: Parliament House Art Collection, Parliament House, Canberra

      Ironsides, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

      Creators and Inventors: 130 Years of Australian Women’s Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

      Asia and Oceania Influence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney

      Pathways I: Changes and Exchanges Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

      Works on Paper, Utopia Art, Sydney                                   

      International Works on Paper Fair, Mitchell Galleries, State Library of New South Wales

      New Works/New Directions: Recent Acquisitions by the Chartwell Collection, Waikato Museum of the Art and History Te Whare Taonga, Waikato, New Zealand

      Stories: Eine Reise zu den groben Dingen - elf Kunstler der Australischen Aborigines, werke aus der Sammlung Holmes a Court, Perth, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Museum fur Volkerkunde zu Leipzig, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Ludwig forum fur Internationale Kunst, Aachen

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Ian Fairweather, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

      1995, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Hogarth Gallery, Sydney                                               

      Cooee Gallery, Sydney

      Kenthurst Gallery, Sydney

      Paintings from the Western Desert, Anima Gallery, Adelaide

      Dreamings: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Barbara Weir, Gloria Kngale and mixed Utopia: recent works Dacau Gallery, Adelaide

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Motorcar Jim, and Barbara Weir, Davis Gallery, Melbourne

      Dreaming: Recent work 1994-5, Dacou Gallery, Adelaide

      Celebration of the Art and Craft of Aboriginal women, Aboriginal Tribal Art Centre, Sydney

      1994

      Identities: Art from Australia, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, Wollongong City Gallery, N.S.W.

      Utopia Body Paint: The Oval Paintings collection, Bishop Museum, Hawaii

      The Land, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

      Desert Painting, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

      ACAF 4 - The Fourth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne

      Yiribana: An Introduction the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

      Ink Lines: Mapping the Printer, Cooee Aboriginal Aboriginal Art Sydney

      Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne

      The Range, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Power of the Land: Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria

      Flash Pictures: by Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Artists, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Victoria;Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo Victoria

      Creators and Inventors: 130 of Australian Womens’ Art in the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria

      Dreamings: Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert: the Donald Khan Collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany2nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra

      1993

      National Gallery of Victoria, Clemenger Award entrant

      Dusseldorf, Aratjara, Kunstsammlung Nordrein-Westfalen

      Gallery Australis,  Adelaide

      Landmarks The Chapman Gallery, Canberra

      On Our Selection: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Australian Painting and Sculpture from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Perth

      Trevor Nickolls and paintings by Emily Kngwarreye, Ginger Riley, Munduwalawala and Rover Thomas quo; Hogarth Galleries, Sydney

      Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Moree Plains Gallery, Moree

      Joan and Peter Clemenger Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

      After the Field...A Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Utopia Art Sydney, Manly Art Gallery, Sydney

      Chandler Coventry: A Private Collection,Campbelltown City Art Gallery

      Aratjara: Art of the First Australians, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf. Hayward Gallery, London. Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek.

      Scarf, Greenway Gallery, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney

      Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings: Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

      Flash Pictures: by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; New England Regional Museum, Armidale,; Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville; Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment, Alice Springs; Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc, Adelaide

      1992

      Paintings from Utopia: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Ada Bird Petyarre and Gloria Petyarre, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne in association with Delmore Gallery

      ACAF 3 - The Third Australian Contemporary Art Fair. Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne

      Aboriginal Art: Utopia in the Desert Nogazaka Arthall, Tokyo, Japan         

      Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Perth

      Bubbles, Baubles & Beads, Utopia Art Sydney

      My Story My Country: Aboriginal Art and Land, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

      Aboriginal Art from the Desert, State Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg, Ukraine

      State Byelorussian Museum of Modern Art, Minsk, Byelorussia

      Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs

      Desert Journeys, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery

      Aptos Cruz, Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide in association with Delmore Gallery

      Utopia Women Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery  

      Salon de Sud Est, Lyon, France                                                                      

      Gallery Australis, Adelaide

      Desert Journeys, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

      Crossroads - Towards a New Reality, Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan                      

      1992, New Work, Utopia Art Sydney

      Modern Art – Ancient Icon. A Gallery of Dreamings for Aboriginal Australia, World Bank, Washington DC, USA

      Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Holmes a Court Collection Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Western Australia

      Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Utopia Artists Hogarth Galleries, Sydney in association with Delmore Gallery

      Keeping Culture Strong: Women’s Work in Aboriginal Australia, Stawell Gallery, Victoria

      1991

      Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert, Union of Soviet Artists Gallery, Moscow

      Utopia Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney in association with Delmore Gallery

      Eastern Desert Art: An Exhibition Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery

      The Creative Spirit, Chapman Gallery, Canberra in association with Delmore Gallery

      Through Women’s Eyes, ATSIC, Canberra

      Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court of Australia, Canberra. Parliament House, Canberra. The Waverly Centre, Victoria. Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat

      Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

      Recent Acquisitions, Queensland Art Gallery

      Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

      Images of Women, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney     

      Utopia - A Picture Story: 88 Silk Batiks form the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne

      Painting from the Desert: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Hobart

      Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Khan, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami

      Utopia, Utopia Art, Sydney

      Utopia Batik, Utopia Art, Sydney

          1990

          ACAF 2 - The Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair 

          Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne

          Art of the Eastern Desert, Central Australia, Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery

          Men and Women’s Ceremonial Art, Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery

          Contemporary Aboriginal Art, The Holmes a Court Collection,

          Art Gallery of New South Wales

          Carpenter Center for Visual Art, Harvard University, USA

          James Ford Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, USA             

          Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego, USA

          Noosa Regional Gallery, Noosa, QLD.

          Utopia Artists, Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney

          Abstraction, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

          New Acquisitions, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

          ARCO, Madrid, Spain                                                          

          A Picture Story, Tandanya, Adelaide

          New Year - New Art, Utopia Art Sydney

          Utopia Artists, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

          Painting from the Desert, Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania   

          1989  

          Aboriginal Art from Utopia, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne in association with Delmore Gallery

          Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney.

          Paintings from Utopia, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA

          Utopia Batik, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

          Utopia Batik, Darwin Gallery

          A Summer Project, Utopia Women’s Paintings

          S.H. Ervin Museum, Sydney.

          Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

          Orange Regional Gallery, N.S.W

          1988 GROUP EXHIBITION

          A Changing Relationship, SH Ervin Museum, Sydney

          1988 (BATIK SILKS)

          Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St. Louis, U.S.A

          Painting and Batik from the Desert, Utopia Art, Sydney

          Utopia Batik, Craft Council Gallery, Canberra

          Utopia Batik, Queensland Museum, Brisbane

          1987 (BATIK SILKS)

          Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle

          Darwin Museum Gallery

          Yirrkala Community Centre

          Jogyakarta Fine Art Academy, Indonesia

          Sydney Expo, Craft Council Gallery

          Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

          1986 (BATIK SILKS) 

          Craft Council Gallery, Canberra            

          Bundaburg Art Gallery

          Araluen Arts Centre, Springs Craft Festival

          1985 (BATIK SILKS)                         

          Black Women in Focus, Adelaide Festival

          Burnie Gallery, Tasmania

          Tasmanian Craft Council Gallery, Hobart

          1984 (BATIK SILKS)                                         

          Craft Council Gallery, Canberra

          Queensland University Gallery, Brisbane

          Fireworks Gallery, Adelaide

          Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney

          Darwin Craft Council Gallery, Darwin                 

          Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

          1983 (BATIK SILKS)

          Adelaide Festival Centre

          Alice Springs Craft Council

          1982 

          Sydney Craft Expo

          Brisbane Commonwealth Games Exhibition

          1981 (BATIK SILKS)           

          Floating Forests of Silk - Utopia Batik from the Desert

          Adelaide Festival Centre

          1980 (BATIK SILKS)

          Artworks, Alice Springs                                       

           
          AWARDS

          1993 Federal Government Creative Fellowship

           

           BIBLIOGRAPY

          • Grishin, S. (2013) Australian Art: A History. The Miegunyah Press, Carlton, VIC.
          • Isaacs, J. et al (1998) Emily Kngwarreye Paintings. Craftsman House, VIC.