Stories from ‘The Dreaming Sites’

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
loved colour with a passion
with acrylic paint to canvas
like it was going out of fashion
and in eight years to an end of life
she captured there ‘the dreaming’
three thousand plus enlightenments
and each with hidden meaning

The expression of an elder
of the Anmatyerre people
it matters not our ignorance
and understanding feeble
For unless we were indigenous
we could not hope here to confide
so as it is these myriad paintings
to most of us their meanings hide

Yet still we are presented
with her legacy of style
enriched beyond mere words
which we could conjure in a while
for here is simple beauty
captured with sincerity
presented for enrichment
where we see what each will see

©Jemverse

[Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) was introduced to acrylic paint in her late 70s. For the next eight years she painted over 3000 canvases, approximately one each day. As an elder of the indigenous Anmatyerre people in the Utopia region of central Australia, Kngwarreye was a custodian of the women’s ‘dreaming sites’. Each of her paintings captured an artistic expression of this role containing stories that only those who have been initiated through Anmatyerre ceremony can know or understand. The rest of us non-indigenous people can only imagine].

Photo – Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting ‘Earth’s Creation 1’ in the Utopia region of Central Australia in 1994

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