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


[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


Fifty miles

From Hampshire through to Sussex
I have walked o’er vale and hill
with a full pack on my back
yet my legs are working still!

I have walked through fields of yellow
and met lot of people on the way
pausing for a moment as
we all had lots to say

Tales of where we’re going
where we’ve stayed and been
Sharing precious moments
of the wonders we have seen

For this undulating countryside
is a feast for any eye
From the shady wooded valleys
to the lofty hills on high

From Hampshire through to Sussex
taking pictures on the way
to capture every moment
of each fantastic day

And now the task before me
as each memory brings a smile
is to bring to life those moments
in my poems for a while

So I hope that you’ll stay with me
as I have so much to share
And in these next few days with me
get a feel for being there


For more coverage of our South Downs Way walk, check out ‘Old Winchester Hill‘, ‘Big Sky‘, ‘Houses for Eeyore‘, ‘Into Sussex’ and ‘The yellow road

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