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Emily Kam Kngwarray Anwerlarr anganenty (Big yam Dreaming) 1995

Emily Kam Kngwarray
Anwerlarr anganenty (Big yam Dreaming) 1995

This huge canvas depicts Emily Kngwarray’s birthplace of Alhalker, an important Yam Dreaming site. The work is painted entirely in bold white lines on black, which celebrate the natural increase of atnwelarr (finger yam) at Alhalker, Country sacred to the artist. The white linear network signifies the underground network of branching tubers, the cracks in the ground that form when the long yam ripens and arlkeny (the striped body designs) worn by Anmatyerr and Alyawarr women in their ceremonies.

This vast canvas, drawn in a single, continuous line, has a totality of gesture and a spontaneous assurance evident throughout Kngwarray’s practice. The drawn surface lays bare the bones which structure much of her art, while the rhythmical monochrome design can be likened to the veins, sinews and contours seen in the body of the land from above.