Emily Kame Kngwarreye is one of Australia's most significant contemporary artists. Emily was born circa 1910 in a remote desert area of Utopia, approx 230 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Emily first saw a white person when she was about 9 years old.
Emily’s energetic paintings portray her homelands of Alhalkere, north of Alice Springs - they reflect the contours of the landscape, the cycles of seasons, the parched land, the flow of flooding waters and sweeping rains, the patterns of seeds and the shape of plants, and the spiritual forces that are the strong responsibilities within the Aboriginal people.
Emily was a founding member of the Utopia Women's Silk Batik Group which commenced operations in 1977. In 1987 Emily began working with acrylics on canvas and became a prolific painter using this medium.
In 1992 Emily received an Australian Artist's Creative Fellowship, a substantial sum awarded to artists who have made a major contribution to the cultural heritage of the nation. In 1997 she represented Australia in the Venice Biennale and the Queensland Art Gallery staged a major retrospective that travelled throughout Australia.
In 2008, a major retrospective of Kngwarreye's work, Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, was exhibited at the National Museum of Art in Osaka and the National Art Centre in Tokyo. In 2011 a second major survey travelled from the National Museum in Canberra to Osaka and Tokyo.
Emily’s work is now included in every major public, corporate and private collection in Australia with works now increasingly being collected overseas.