Of the many highly acclaimed superstars of the Aboriginal art movement, now 40 years old, none shine as brightly as Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Volumes have been written by academics, art critics, curators and historians about her genius and uniqueness. The first solo international exhibition of Emily’s works was in Amsterdam. Held in the 13th century Oude Kerk (˜Old Church’), Amsterdam’s oldest church, the exhibition was hailed as a blockbuster and worthy of being exhibited in the city’s world famous Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Similar sentiments were expressed by the international press after Emily represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 1997.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s last major exhibitions were in 2009, instigated by the Japanese Museums of Osaka and Tokyo, where 106,000 visitors in Tokyo saw the show in six weeks. Emily’s arguably most acclaimed work and one of the last she made in a series radically different from previous styles, known as the Last Series, featured on the front cover of the sold-out catalogue. After returning from Japan in 2010, the series was shown at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
Emily died in September 1996. Six years later, in 2002, the Emily Museum was registered – the first museum to be dedicated to an individual Aboriginal artist.
Now, a decade later, in 2012, their doors have been opened to the public for special preview while they finanise the exhibition space and produce their catalogue for the museum collection for their 2013 official opening.
On display are approximately 200 of Emily’s paintings during the preview – including the monumental 5×15 metre Emily Wall, pictured below.
The museum has onsite parking, and admission is complementary.