Delmore Gallery, Northern Territory
Contemporary and Aboriginal Art, Sotheby's, Melbourne, 18 June 1995, lot. 400
Acquired from the above by the present owner
In the certificate signed by Janet Holt, January 1991, she writes: 'In this quietly resolved work, Emily Kngwarreye defines the post-summer dryness that created a muted, scattered carpet of seeds and grasses over the country. Her life long observations of her place called Alalgura on Utopia Station have taught her that despite the dryness, those underground tuber vegetables are just right for picking. When the wind sweeps away the grasses and leaves bare country, survival becomes tough.
To look on Emily's work from an aerial perspective is necessary to understanding her view of her country. In a layered approach with colour, we see sporadic clustered growth of plants in different stages of maturity. Knowledge about the life cycles of plants is learned in everyday situations and reinforced in ceremony. Ceremony asserts that the combined spiritual power of women assures fertility and future seasons for all desert life forms. Emily's role as a senior custodian means taking on the ritual and social responsibilities for her nieces. She teaches them much of what she knows, and deliberately influences their role within their tribal grouping. She uses her power to guarantee future generations and the continuous flow of her knowledge.'