Grass-Seed Blue


The work we see here was completed in 1996, the last year of Emily's life. These type of works were referred to by Emily as 'Sacred Grasses'. The action in these pieces reveal a speed and energy that belie her advanced years. Scribbly in character, the tangled massing  of lines were scrawled over the surface, sometimes almost translucent and at other times thick and textural. These rapid, multicolored marks evoke the more spiky angularity of grasses in contrast to the meandering tendrils of the Yam series that preceded them. Their immediacy reveals an artist completely at ease with her materials, with a command of mark-making that demonstrates the assuredness and confidence of one who has produced more than 3,000 canvases in only eight years.At one level, these canvases may refer to one of her Dreaming stories, where  the grasses are winnowed in the wind to release the seeds (Ntange) used for making edible seed cakes. At another level, they transcend the literal and allude to the concept of 'whole lot' that Emily refers to in her all-encompassing quote about her work, summarized as, 'That's what I paint, whole lot .... everything'. It is a complex inter-relationship between all the elements, and a potent and indescribable life force that permeates all her work.


1996 - Painted by the artist for the Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Australia.
1998 - Private Collection, Oudekerk aan de Amstel, The Netherlands
2009 - Acquired by Leslie smith Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


2018 Expo Chicago, SmithDavidson Gallery, Chicago, USA
2018 Zona Maco, SmithDavidson Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico
1999 'Emily Kame Kngwarreye in Amsterdam' - Oude kerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

more about Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

b. 1910
Utopia, Central Desert

d. 02.09.1996

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is without a doubt the most famous female Aboriginal artist to date. She may be considered one of the greatest contemporary Australian artists and her influence on the world of both indigenous and non-indigenous Australian art is indisputably great. Emily was born around 1910 in Utopia, a community in the Central Desert, around 230 kilometres north east of Alice Sp . . .
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more work by Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Bush Tomato #223

Grass-Seed Red

My Country #214

My Country #215

My Country #217

My Country Wall #220

Soakage Bore #503

Spinifex Country #504

Yam Multi Colour #224

Related works

My Country

My Country #282

My Country #311

Yam Seed Dreaming #279