Emily shifted her style from dots to gestural brush strokes that echoed the lines painted on women’s breasts and shoulders for traditional ceremonial performances.

Yam Dreaming, 1995.

Emily produced her work at an astounding rate; it is estimated that she painted over 3,000 works over the course of her eight-year career, an average of one painting per day. Emily completed Big Yam Dreaming in just two days.  Without preliminary sketching, Emily painted sitting cross-legged on the three-by-eight meter canvas, working her way from the center to it’s edges. Given Emily’s technique of painting by sitting on the floor, her works have no prescribed orientation, except in a few cases.

Big Yam Dreaming, 1995.

The demand for Emily’s paintings meant that she felt certain stresses as a member of her community. Emily’s painting provided income for her whole community; at her old age, Emily gave up chances of retirement in order to provide for her kin.

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Funding for this series comes from:

National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Further Support Provided By:

NPR Kitchen Sisters


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