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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Emily

1994
Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.4 cm x 40.4 cm, image: 45.9 cm x 31.1 cm)

Emily Kame Kngwarrey (Kngwarreye) (c. 1910–1996), Anmatyerre artist, was born at Alhalkere, Utopia Station in the Northern Territory. After her ancestral land was appropriated for cattle grazing, she worked as a stockhand. As she grew older she became a leader in women's business, experienced in ceremonial body painting. From 1977 she collaborated in the production of batik, an important industry for the Anmatyerre after they regained land title. She first painted on canvas in 1988. In the course of her brief career she produced thousands of canvases depicting the flowers, roots, dust and summer rains of her country, the translucent colours built up with layered touches of paint to create an illusion of depth and movement. Kngwarreye is recognised as one of the very greatest abstract artists of the twentieth century.

Photographer Greg Weight met Kngwarreye at Utopia in February 1994 and took several images. This one is his favourite. As he recalled in Australian Artists: Portraits by Greg Weight: 'After the sun slipped beyond the horizon and with only half a roll of film left in the camera, the moment I had been hoping for happened. Something in the distance demanded Emily's concentration. She stopped talking and turned her head in perfect profile.'

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 48 in 1994)

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (age 84 in 1994)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency