Born: c 1951
Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ahalpere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Batik on Silk, Wood Sculptures
Subjects: Anwekety (Conkerberry or Bush Plum), Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs), Life and Death, Bush Tucker, Narrative hunting & family scenes
Glady Kemarre, a well known Utopia artist, began her career in the late 1970's with the medium of batik. Over 80 other Utopia women participated in this practice for over a decade before the acrylics on canvas movement swept Utopia in the late 1980's. Glady swiftly changed mediums, as did many others, to the ease and liberation of acrylics. Having painted now for us for many years, Glady has become known to us as a fine dot artist with a quiet yet humorous spirit! Though her ability to speak English is not fluent, she is fun to converse with and always has an intelligible glint in her eyes. Glady usually resides with her close relatives Kathleen Ngale, Polly Ngale and Angelina Ngale in Utopia. The art of painting is a very social practice for Glady and the women of her community. Glady rarely paints anything other than the Anwekety Story, whereby fine dot work represents the sweet black conkerberry (anwekety in Glady's native language).
The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
Awards and Accolades
|2008||Centrefold Spread, Mbantua Gallery & Cultural Museum Newsletter, Issue 22|
|1990||Utopia - A Picture story, an exhibition of 88 Works on Silk from the Holmes á Court Collection by Utopia Artists which toured Eire and Scotland|
|1994||Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT|
|1998||Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T|
|2004||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs|
|2008||Emily and Her Legacy, Hillside Gallery, Tokyo with Coo-ee Art Sydney in conjunction with the opening of the landmark retrospective exhibition Utopia - the Genius of Emily Kngwarreye at the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan|
|2014||Narrativa Herióca - Pintura Aborígine do Deserto Australiano - Renaissance Hotel, São Paulo, Brazil|
|2014||Arca Urbana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|1997||Emily Kngwarreye, Gallery Savah, Sydney, New South Wales|
|Brody, A.||1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes á Court Collection, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth|
The conkerberry (or conkleberry) known as Anwekety or bush plum to Glady, is a sweet black berry that is favoured by desert aboriginals. They only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a few weeks of the year, however Glady's people collect plenty of them and store them dry, soaking them in water again before being consumed. The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. After rain fragrant white flowers bloom. This plant also bares medicinal properties. The orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the resultant solutions can be used as a medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub can be used to cure warts.
Glady paints the conkerberry (dot work). In Anmatyerre the conkerberry is called Anwekety. This fruit looks very similar to a plum and is often referred to in English by Glady as a 'bush plum'. In the Dreamtime, winds blew from all directions, carrying the Anwekety seed over Glady's ancestors' land. The first Anwekety of the Dreamings then grew, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands.