Emily Kame Kngwarreye Biography
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.
COLLECTIONSAllen Allen and Hemsley, Sydney
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
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
Benalla Regional Art Gallery, Victoria
Campbelltown City Art Gallery, NSW
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
2008 Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
2008 Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan
2008 Utopia: the Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the National Museum of Australia, Canberra
2008 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
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
1999 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
1998 Earth’s Creation: the Paintings of Emily Kngwarreye, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne; Hotel Sofitel, Melbourne
1997 Looking Back, Utopia Art, Sydney
1997 The Spirit Sings: Paintings by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc in association with Dreaming Art Centre of Utopia
1997 Body Painting Series, Robert Steele Gallery, New York; Anima Gallery, Adelaide
1996 Emily Kame Kngwarreye Phillip Bacon Gallery, Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery
1996 Recent Paintings William Mora Gallery, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery
1996 Emily Kngwarreye Framed Gallery, Darwin, in association with Delmore Gallery
1996 Emily Kame Kngwarreye c 1910-96, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery
1996 Blue Paintings, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
1996 Emily Kame Kngwarreye Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
1995 The Delmore Collection Selected Exhibition and Survey of Works 1989 - 1995, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
1995 Recent Paintings 1993-1994 William Mora Gallery, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery
1995 A New Expression Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 Installation of Big Yam Story, National Gallery of Victoria, donated by Donald and Janet Holt and family
1995 Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Paintings from 1989 - 1995, Delmore Collection, Parliament House, Canberra
1995 Power of the Line Chapman Gallery, Canberra in association with Delmore Gallery
1995 Emily Kngwarreye Framed Gallery, Darwin in association with Delmore Gallery
1994 Emily Kame Kngwarreye Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London in association with Delmore Gallery
1994 Emily Kame Kngwarreye Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery
1994 New Directions Utopia Art, Sydney
1993 Emily Kngwarreye Hogarth, Sydney, in association with Delmore Gallery
1993 Recent Paintings by Emily Kngwarreye Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery
1993 The Alhalkere suite, Utopia Art, Sydney
1992 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery
1992 Alhalkere, Utopia Art, Sydney
1991 Emily Kngwarreye, Hogarth, Sydney, in collaboration with Delmore Gallery
1991 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Utopia Art ,Sydney
1991 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Robin Purvis Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery
1991 Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert, Union 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
1990 Paintings by Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, in association with Delmore Gallery
1990 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Robin Purvis Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery
1990 Utopia Art, Sydney
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 EXHIBITIONS2017 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
2007 Delmore Gallery – A new Selection of Utopia Art, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2007 Paperweight: Works on Paper by Indigenous Artists, Suzanne O’Connell Gallery, Brisbane
2006 Delmore Art of Utopia, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2006 Dreaming Their Way, Australian Aboriginal Women Painters National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
2006 Bits and Pieces, Abstract Art Utopia Art, Sydney
2006 The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Shimonoseki City Art Museum. Shimonoseki, Japan
2006 Landmarks, Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2006 Prism: contemporary Australian Art, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Kyobashi, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo
2005 Utopia Neville Keating Gallery, London in association with Delmore Gallery.
2005 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
2004 Talking About Abstraction, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
2004 The Women’s Show Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2004 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Maxie Tjampitjinpa: Classic Images, Utopia Art, Sydney
2004 Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
2004 Home and Away: Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art from the Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
2004 A Selection of Important Twentieth Century Australian Paintings, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney
2004 Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Rover Thomas, Utopia Art, Sydney
2003 Australian Contemporary Art in Prague, Toskansky Place, Prague
2003 Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia
2003 Big Country: Works from the Flinders University Art Museum Collection, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide
2003 Spirit Country, Echigo Tsumari Triennial: Niigata Prefecture: Hillside Forum, Daikanyama, Tokyo
2002 The Year in Review, Utopia Art, Sydney
2002 Structures of Difference, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
2002 Indigenous Works on Paper, Damien Minton Gallery, Newcastle
2002 Lines II, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2002 A Way Through: the Sue and Ian Bernadt Collection, Aboriginal Paintings by Women Artists, Central Tafe Art Gallery, Northbridge, Western Australia
2002 December Exhibition, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2002 Women Painters of the Desert, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2002 Discomfort, Women Painters of the Desert, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2001 Museum, Utopia Art Sydney
2001 Dreamtime: the Dark and the Light, Kunst der Gegennwart, Sammlung EsslVienna, Austria
2001 Desert Flowering: Aboriginal Art from Private Collections, Manawatu Gallery, New Zealand
2001 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
2000 Utopia Art, University of the Sunshine Coast, Library Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland
1999 Treading Softly, Chapman Gallery, Canberra,
1999 Of My Country, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo Victoria
1998 Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1998 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
1998 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
1998 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
1996 Emily Kame Kngwarreye: The First Ochres, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne
1996 Women of Utopia, Creative Native, Perth
1996 Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
1996 Women Hold Up Half the Sky, Monash University Gallery, Victoria
1996 The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra
1996 The Gesture, Utopia Art Sydney
1996 This is My Country - This is Me, Seattle Art Museum, Downtown, Seattle, USA
1996 Utopia Women, Utopia Art, Sydney
1996 Flagging the Republic, Sherman Galleries, Sydney and New England Art Museum
1996 Nangara: The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition - From the Ebes Collection, sichting Sint-Jan, Brugges, Belgium
1996 Voices of the Earth, Jehangir Nicholson Museum, National Gallery for Performing Arts, Mumbai, India; The Karnataka Chirrakala Parishath, Bangalore, India
1996 Spirit and Place Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1996 The Eye of the Storm: Eight Contemporary Indigenous Australian Artists, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1996 ACAF 5: 5th Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
1996 Return from the Art Fair*, Utopia Art, Sydney
1996 Aboriginal Australian Art Seattle Art Museum, Seattle USA
1996 3rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra
1996 Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Sherman Galleries, Sydney
1996 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
1995 Place and Perception: New Acquisitions: Parliament House Art Collection, Parliament House, Canberra
1995 Ironsides, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
1995 Creators and Inventors: 130 Years of Australian Women’s Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1995 Asia and Oceania Influence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
1995 Pathways I: Changes and Exchanges Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1995 Works on Paper, Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 International Works on Paper Fair, Mitchell Galleries, State Library of New South Wales
1995 New Works/New Directions: Recent Acquisitions by the Chartwell Collection, Waikato Museum of the Art and History Te Whare Taonga, Waikato, New Zealand
1995 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
1995 Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Ian Fairweather, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
1995 Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
1995 Cooee Gallery, Sydney
1995 Kenthurst Gallery, Sydney
1995 Paintings from the Western Desert, Anima Gallery, Adelaide
1995 Dreamings: Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Barbara Weir, Gloria Kngale and mixed Utopia: recent works Dacau Gallery, Adelaide
1995 Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Motorcar Jim, and Barbara Weir, Davis Gallery, Melbourne
1995 Dreaming: Recent work 1994-5, Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
1995 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, NSW
1994 Utopia Body Paint: The Oval Paintings collection, Bishop Museum, Hawaii
1994 The Land, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1994 Desert Painting, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
1994 ACAF 4 - The Fourth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne
1994 Yiribana: An Introduction the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1994 Ink Lines: Mapping the Printer, Cooee Aboriginal Aboriginal Art Sydney
1994 Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne
1994 The Range, Utopia Art, Sydney
1994 Power of the Land: Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria
1994 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
1994 Creators and Inventors: 130 of Australian Womens’ Art in the National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria
1994 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
1993 Dusseldorf, Aratjara, Kunstsammlung Nordrein-Westfalen
1993 Gallery Australis, Adelaide
1993 Landmarks The Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1993 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
1993 Trevor Nickolls and paintings by Emily Kngwarreye, Ginger Riley, Munduwalawala and Rover Thomas quo; Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1993 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Moree Plains Gallery, Moree
1993 Joan and Peter Clemenger Triennial Exhibition of Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1993 After the Field...A Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Utopia Art Sydney, Manly Art Gallery, Sydney
1993 Chandler Coventry: A Private Collection,Campbelltown City Art Gallery
1993 Aratjara: Art of the First Australians, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf. Hayward Gallery, London. Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek.
1993 Scarf, Greenway Gallery, Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney
1993 Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings: Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1993 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
1992 ACAF 3 - The Third Australian Contemporary Art Fair. Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne
1992 Aboriginal Art: Utopia in the Desert Nogazaka Arthall, Tokyo, Japan
1992 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Perth
1992 Bubbles, Baubles & Beads, Utopia Art Sydney
1992 My Story My Country: Aboriginal Art and Land, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1992 Aboriginal Art from the Desert, State Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg, Ukraine
1992 State Byelorussian Museum of Modern Art, Minsk, Byelorussia
1992 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1992 Desert Journeys, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, in association with Delmore Gallery
1992 Aptos Cruz, Adelaide Arts Festival, Adelaide in association with Delmore Gallery
1992 Utopia Women Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery
1992 Salon de Sud Est, Lyon, France
1992 Gallery Australis, Adelaide
1992 Desert Journeys, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1992 Crossroads - Towards a New Reality, Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
1992 New Work, Utopia Art, Sydney
1992 Modern Art – Ancient Icon. A Gallery of Dreamings for Aboriginal Australia, World Bank, Washington DC, USA
1992 Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Holmes a Court Collection Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Western Australia
1992 Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Utopia Artists Hogarth Galleries, Sydney in association with Delmore Gallery
1992 Keeping Culture Strong: Women’s Work in Aboriginal Australia, Stawell Gallery, Victoria
1991 Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert, Union of Soviet Artists Gallery, Moscow
1991 Utopia Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney in association with Delmore Gallery
1991 Eastern Desert Art: An Exhibition Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery
1991 The Creative Spirit, Chapman Gallery, Canberra in association with Delmore Gallery
1991 Through Women’s Eyes, ATSIC, Canberra
1991 Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court of Australia, Canberra. Parliament House, Canberra. The Waverly Centre, Victoria. Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Ballarat
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1991 Recent Acquisitions, Queensland Art Gallery
1991 Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1991 Images of Women, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney
1991 Utopia - A Picture Story: 88 Silk Batiks form the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne
1991 Painting from the Desert: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Hobart
1991 Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Khan, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami
1991 Utopia, Utopia Art, Sydney
1991 Utopia Batik, Utopia Art, Sydney
1990 ACAF 2 - The Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair
1990 Royal Exhibition Centre, Melbourne
1990 Art of the Eastern Desert, Central Australia, Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane in association with Delmore Gallery
1990 Men and Women’s Ceremonial Art, Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane, in association with Delmore Gallery
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, The Holmes a Court Collection,
1990 Art Gallery of New South Wales
1990 Carpenter Center for Visual Art, Harvard University, USA
1990 James Ford Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, USA
1990 Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego, USA
1990 Noosa Regional Gallery, Noosa, QLD.
1990 Utopia Artists, Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney
1990 Abstraction, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1990 New Acquisitions, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1990 ARCO, Madrid, Spain
1990 A Picture Story, Tandanya, Adelaide
1990 New Year - New Art, Utopia Art Sydney
1990 Utopia Artists, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
1990 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
1989 Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney.
1989 Paintings from Utopia, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1989 Utopia Batik, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
1989 Utopia Batik, Darwin Gallery
1989 A Summer Project, Utopia Women’s Paintings, S.H. Ervin Museum, Sydney.
1989 Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1989 Orange Regional Gallery, N.S.W
1988 A Changing Relationship, SH Ervin Museum, Sydney
EXHIBITION OF BATIK SILKS
1988 Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1988 Painting and Batik from the Desert, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
1988 Utopia Batik, Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1988 Utopia Batik, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, QLD
1987 Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
1987 Darwin Museum Gallery, Darwin, NT
1987 Yirrkala Community Centre, Northern Territory
1987 Jogyakarta Fine Art Academy, Indonesia
1987 Sydney Expo, Craft Council Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1987 The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1986 Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1986 Bundaberg Art Gallery, Queensland
1986 The Araluen Centre, Springs Craft Festival, Alice Springs, NT
1985 Black Women in Focus, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide, SA
1985 Burnie Gallery, Tasmania
1985 Tasmanian Craft Gallery, Hobart, TAS
1984 Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1984 Queensland University Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
1984 Fireworks Gallery, Adelaide, SA
1984 Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1984 Darwin Craft Council Gallery, Darwin, NT
1984 The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1983 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
1983 Alice Springs Craft Council, Alice Springs, NT
1982 Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games Exhibition, Brisbane, QLD
1981 Floating Forests of Silks - Utopia Batik from the Desert, Adelaide Festival Centre, SA
1980 Artworks, Alice Springs, NT
1993 Federal Government Creative Fellowship
- Grishin, S. (2013) Australian Art: A History. The Miegunyah Press, Carlton, VIC.
- Isaacs, J. et al (1998) Emily Kngwarreye Paintings. Craftsman House, VIC.