Remarkable for her continual pushing of stylistic boundaries Emily Kngwarrye's painting styles were many and varied yet characterized by a bold experimentation, all identifiably hers.
This subtle painting represents the colourist style she developed after she had been painting on canvas for around two years. Kngwarreye's use of colour has often been noted as one of the most distinctive qualities of her work whether in bold, wild exuberance or, as in this, more restricted palette.
Related to this painting are two similarly untitled works in curator Margo Neale's exhibition catalogue Emily Kngwarreye; Alhalkere paintings from Utopia (pl 51 (Cat.35), 1990, p. 84 and pl 52. (Cat. 41) 1991, p. 85) (1). As in these, in this picture a meandering pattern representing the yam dreaming story underlies a thickly applied layer of luminous pink/red dots. Reflected in these works are the colours of the desert - the glowing pinks and reds of rock and sand, the blur as sandy soil becomes mud after rain.
This is a reflective work whose immediate visual impact does not dominate but which engages - like the land itself - through its rich colour, allowing further layers to emerge on contemplation.
(1) Neale, M and others. Emily Kngwarreye; Alhalkere paintings from Utopia, Queensland Art Gallery, 1997