Gladys (Glady) Kemarre Biography

Gladys Kemarre

Belonging to the Alywarre language group, Gladys Kemarre (or Glady as she is known) was born on Mount Swan Station, north eastern Central Australia, in 1937.

Gladys started painting on fabric in the batik technique in 1977, along with Angeline Ngale (Kngale) and Emily Kngwarreye. Initially instructed by Yipati, a Pitjantjatjara artist from Ernabella and Suzie Bryce, a craft instructor. Later, Jenny Green, a wonderfully enthusiastic facilitator, provided cotton material and paints for the women to use, she also taught many of the women to sign their names as well as other new skills that would make a difference to life at Utopia, such as how to drive a car. When Julia Murray arrived, she introduced silk to the artists and helped expand the market; though the new works would still prove hard to sell.

After ten years of producing beautiful batik on silk and cotton in glorious colours, with the training and encouragement of Jenny Green and Julia Murray, Gladys, along with other Utopia women took part in an exhibition at the S. H. Ervin Gallery in April 1989 on small boards. This was organised by Rodney Gooch of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). She took part in 'A Summer Project: Utopia Women's Painting (first works on canvas) 1988-89', exhibited in 1989, then participated in the watercolour survey in early 1989 which was acquired in its entirety by the Holmes a Court Collection. 

Glady's Dreaming is Anwekety or Bush Plum; her fine dot work represents the sweet black conkerberry. Her paintings primarily depict the ripening stage of bush plum. The plant produces white flowers and berries, which when ripe, are edible and sweet to taste. The berries also feed a variety of wildlife including emu’s, bush turkey and other native bird species. Glady’s artworks provide a topographical view of the landscape around Ahalpere, her native country, in the Utopia region in Central Australia. As part of Gladys’ Dreaming the women perform Awelye ceremonies to pay homage to the spirit of the Bush Plum to ensure further germinations in years to come.

Over the years Glady has been part of multiple exhibitions around Australia and overseas including, India, Germany, Korea, and throughout Europe. Her artworks are also held by some prestigious art collections around Australia.

Glady lives at Camel Camp Outstation in the Utopia region, where she resides with her close relatives and fellow Utopian artists, the Kngale sisters - Kathleen, Polly and Angeline. The practice of painting is a very sociable one for these women and they are often seen painting and chatting together. 

View Gladys Kemarre paintings

 

COLLECTIONS

Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Holt Collection, Delmore Gallery, NT, Australia
Artbank
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Flinders University Collection, Adelaide, South Australia
The Holmes à Court Collection, Perth
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth
Maitland Regional Gallery, Maitland, NSW
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Redland City Art Gallery, Cleveland, Queensland

EXHIBITIONS

2017  The Golden Age of Utopia, Aboriginal Signature Estrangin gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2015  Aboriginal Artists, Wimbledon Fine Art, London
2015  Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award, Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
2014  Landscape of our Dreaming, Red Poles, Mclaren Vale, South Australia
2014  Senior Women from Camel Camp, Utopia, London
2013  Brush with Art Festival, Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia
2013  Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, VIC
2013  Sunshine Coast Art Prize, Caloundra Regional Art Gallery, Caloundra, QLD
2013  Hazelhurst Art Award, Gymea, NSW
2013  Togart Contemporary Art Exhibition, Parliament House, Darwin, NT
2012  Calleen Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery, NSW
2012  Albany Centennial Art Prize, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA
2012  Highlights, Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland, QLD
2012  Albany Art Prize, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA
2012  Belongings, Australasian Arts Projects, Singapore
2011  Cossack Art Award, Post and Telegraph Building, Karratha, WA
2011  Hazelhurst Art Award, Gymea, NSW
2011  The Waterhouse Natural History Prize, The South Australian Museum, SA
2011  Albany Art Prize, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA
2011  Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, VIC
2011  The Fleurieu Landscape Art Award, Fleurieu Peninsula Biennale, McLaren Vale, SA
2011  City of Whyalla Art Prize, Middleback Theatre, Whyalla, SA
2011  Utopian Aboriginal Art, Without Pier Art Gallery, Melbourne
2011  Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
2010  Utopia, Indigenart - Mossenson Galleries, Subiaco, WA
2010  The Redland Art Awards, Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland, QLD
2010  Cossack Art Award, Post and Telegraph Building, Karratha, WA
2010  John Leslie Art Prize, Gippsland Art Gallery Sale, VIC
2010  Melbourne Art Fair 2010, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, VIC
2010  The Waterhouse Natural History Prize, The South Australian Museum, SA
2009  Aboriginal art in Korea, Gong Pyeong Art Space, Seoul, Korea
2008  From the Desert to the Sea, Yurlunggar Art, Brisbane
2008  Emily and Her Legacy, Hillside Gallery, Tokyo with Coo-ee Art Sydney in conjunction with the opening of the landmark retrospective exhibition Utopia – The Genius of Emily Kngwarreye at the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan
2007  Patterns of Power, Art from the Eastern Desert, Simmer on the Bay, Sydney
2006  Senior Women of Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane
2004  Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Gallery Bahrt, Speyer
2002  Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Gallery Bahrt, Speyer
2002  Land of Diversity, The Northern Territory, Hogarth Galleries, Paddington
2001  Land of Diversity, The Northern Territory, Hogarth Galleries, Paddington
2001  Exposition Collective, Arts d’Australie, Arts D’Australie Equation Transparence, Paris
1998  Utopia and Balgo Hills, Gallery Bahr, Speyer, Holland
1997  Exposition Collective, Arts d’Australie, Arts D’Australie Equation Transparence, Bruxelles
1996  Voices of the Earth, Paintings, Photography and Sculpture from Aboriginal Australia, Seoul, South Korea, Calcutta.
1996  Nangara: The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition from the Ebes Collection, Brugge, Belgium
1996  Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T
1994  Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T
1993  Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T
1992  Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, N.T
1992  Emily Kngwarreye and Utopia Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
1992  Utopia Women, Eastern Desert Art (Robin Purvis) Brisbane
1991  Utopia Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
1991  Alraluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs
1990  Art of the Eastern Desert, Eastern Desert Art, (Robin Purvis) Brisbane
1989  Aboriginal Art from Utopia, Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
1989  Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney
1989  Utopia – a Picture Story, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide; The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork; Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick; Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne
 

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

AWARDS

2015  Finalist NATSIAA Awards
2013  Finalist (H/C) Waterhouse Natural History Prize SA Museum
2013  Winner Calleen Art Award
2012  2nd Place Redland Art Awards
2012  Finalist Togart Prize
2010  Finalist City of Albany Art Prize

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Birnberg, M. & Kreczmanski, J.B. (2004) Aboriginal Artists Dictionary of Biographies: Central Desert, Western Desert & Kimberley Region. J.B. Publishing Australia, Marleston, SA.
    Brody, Annemarie & Gooch, Rodney & Robert Holmes à Court Collection & CAAMA Shop (1990) Utopia : a picture story : 88 silk batiks from the Robert Holmes à Court Collection. Heytesbury Holdings Ltd. for the Robert Holmes à Court Collection, Perth, WA.