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Anwekety (Bush Plum)

In storage

Place of origin
Western Australia, Australia



Acrylic on linen

183 x 121 cm

Winner Calleen Art Award 2013

Accession number

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Gladdy Kemarre was born around 1950 on the Mount Swan Station in the Harts Range (Atitjera) region of the Northern Territory. With her sister (Ally Kemarre) and brother (Billy Benn Perrule) she grew up learning the traditions of the Anmatyerre people, including learning to paint through the designs on the body used for ceremonial purposes. Kemarre was a member of the Utopia Women’s Batik Group in the late 1970s, and was included in the important exhibitions A Picture Story (1980) and A Summer Project (1989), that were instrumental in bringing the art of Utopia to the world. The artist has exhibited widely in Australia and Europe. She was a finalist in many prizes including the Wynne Prize (2009), the King’s School Art Prize (2010), the Stanthorpe Art Prize (2008), the Albany Art Prize (2012), the Waterhouse Natural History Prize (2011) and the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2011. Her work is in many collections including Artbank, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the Monash University Collection, Melbourne. She died in Alice Springs in 2016.

Anwekety (Bush Plum) is the artist’s interpretation of the Bush Plum Dreaming, the Dreaming of her patrilineal country, Ahalpere. A statement accompanying the painting reads: “Anwekety, the bush plum, is a Dreaming story given to Gladdy by her Grandmother. Viewed from above, the changing seasonal colours of the anwekety dominate the flora on the ground in Ahalpere country. Gladdy’s shimmering and sweeping expanses of fine dots, transposed over a dark field create a rich and vertiginous image of desert terrain. The joyful rhythms of the canvas reflect Gladdy’s pride in passing down the story of the bush plum, just as her grandmother did before her”.