Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Yam Multi Colour

Acrylic on canvas
120 x 90 cm
(47.2 x 35.4 in)

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Emily painted most of her Yam Dreamings in 1995. A specific yam (an edible tuber that grows beneath the ground and is visible above ground as a creeper) is her major Dreaming story. The organic tracery of interconnecting lines mirrors the network of arterial roots below the surface. The precense of the yam is evident through the physicality that defines its roots. However, its power is evoked through ancestral connections that transcend the physical, embodied in the expression 'as above, so below'.The organic flow of lines stretch out like capillaries across these canvases. Lifelines that pulsate with a dynamism and joyousness of ancestral potency. They mesh and weave, and speak of wholeness, not so apparent in the sharper, often more brutal and geometric surfaces of many Western abstractionists. However, there are some coincidental resonances with Paul Klee's concept of 'taking a line for a walk', the linear power of Franz Kline and Hans Hofmann, as well as that of Japanese artist Shiko Munakata, and Australian artists Ian Fairweather and Tony Tuckson.

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