KAME KNGWARREYE passed away last year in her eighties. Following
the custom of the Aboriginal people, the full name of the artist
that passes on should not be spoken out of respect for the deceased
and their family. The substitute, KWEMENTYAI (meaning "no name")
and/or the artist's skin (clan) name are used instead. KNGWARREYE
is considered one of the most significant Australian contemporary
artists. In her youth, KNGWARREYE lived a traditional lifestyle
in the outback on a cattle station. In her sixties, she was introduced
to "non traditional" (mainstream) art practices. Although she originally
used batik as medium, she eventually (a decade later) moved into
painting on canvas.
known primarily for her fields of shimmering dots, began to make
stripe paintings in 1993. There is a strong spiritual analogy between
these stripe paintings and the traditional body painting "awelye," yam
dreaming cycles of the KNGWARREYE people. They capture the immediacy
and rhythm of "painting up" (on the body) for a ceremonial performance.