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Grayson Perry

10 Dec - 01 May

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Mikala Dwyer: MCA Collection

21 Dec - 21 Feb

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Being TIWI

21 Dec - 21 Feb

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Workshop

Art Safari

09 Feb, 10.30am, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Workshop

Art Safari

09 Feb, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning

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Genext: My Pretty Little Art Career

06 Mar, 6.00pm, Throughout the MCA

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Sharing The Artist’s Voice

Celebrating the launch of a new video portal, Alex White reflects upon the MCA’s history of producing and sharing interviews with artists and the importance of these activities for the organisation. more

My Pretty Little Sydney: A guide inspired by Grayson Perry

Much like Grayson’s work, Sydney is full of interesting enclaves if you are willing to take a closer look. We teamed up with The Thousands to create a Grayson Perry-inspired guide to Sydney! more

Building Confidence

Artist Educator Sue Salier reflects upon the certainty of youth in relation to our secondary workshop program Unpacking Unseen Images. more

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Volume One: MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection on display

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Remain in Light: Photography from the MCA Collections

On tour until October 2015

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ARTIST INTERVIEW

Watch our latest artist interview with Khaled Sabsabi

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Untitled (body painting series) 1996

on display

Museum of Contemporary Art, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Ann Lewis AO, 2009

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
5 parts

About the Artwork

Emily Kame Kngwarreye is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists. Along with a number of other senior Aboriginal artists, her career began late in life. During an eight-year period from 1989 until 1996, she produced over 3000 paintings.

The stories depicted during these eight years related to her Dreaming and included Arlatyeye (pencil yam), Arkerrthe (mountain devil lizard), Ntange (grass seed), Tingu (a Dreamtime pup), Ankerre (emu), Intekwe (a favourite food of emus, a small plant), Atnwerle (green bean), Kame (yam seed) and lastly Awelye (Kngwarreye’s Dreaming), which the works Untitled (Awelye) (#62, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70) (1995) refer to.

Ceremony represents an important theme in the artist’s paintings, in particular women’s body designs and markings that were fluidly composed onto canvas. These lines can also be related to Awelye (Kngwarreye’s Dreaming) and the physical expression of Awelye where body paint is placed onto the skin for ceremonial purposes. This expression releases the spiritual power that maintains nature’s fertility and hardiness. ‘Awelye’ also has a broader meaning that describes the range of content of a ceremony and a body of knowledge. Thus, these simple lines are much more than just stylised body paint. In fact, there are many other references, including the lines left behind in the sand and cuts made in the upper arm, as a sign of sorrow after a death.

Kngwarreye later began painting geometric forms which represented the flora and fauna of Utopia. She over painted her works with bold dotting or repetitive lines. Her latter painting abstracted these underlying designs further, until just her famous “dump dump” dot style and dichromatic designs evolved.

References

Keith Munro (curator), Statement of significance, Object file note, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2009

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

– About the artist

b.Circa 1910 d.1996

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, in a short but brilliant career, carved out a deserved reputation as one of Australia’s most important artists. From birth she lived on her Country, Alhalkere, in the remote desert north east of Alice Springs. Her unique art encompasses the breadth, substance, history and meaning of her precious land, which was her enduring subject.

Learn more
– Other works by the artist

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