Kudditji Kngwarreye

Kudditji Kngwarreye is a senior man of the Eastern Anmatyerre language group from Alhalkere on the Utopia homelands, about 270 km north east of Alice Springs. Kudditji (pronounced Kubbitji), was born around 1928. He is the younger brother of renowned Utopia artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. As a young man Kudditji worked as a stockman on cattle stations around his traditional country, and took other occasional jobs including working as a gold miner.

He began painting in 1986, after the Central Desert art movement that began with the work of senior men at Papunya, began spreading out to other desert communities. Kudditji Kngwarreye’s early style consisted of symmetrically dotted paintings depicting the Emu Dreaming sites and ceremonies associated with Men‘s Business. During the mid 1990‘s Kudditji began to experiment, replacing his previous fi ne dotting style with one that used densely applied paint to create broad sweeps of colour on the canvas.

This imagery created something similar to the western landscape plane. The paintings were romantic images of his country, concentrating on colour and form of the landscape. Strong images were being created of the intense skies of the desert rainy season and the extreme heat of high summer.

The Emu Dreaming is one of Kudditji’s inherited ancestral totems, and is regularly referred to in his paintings. Kudditji Kngwarreye has been represented in major international exhibitions and has gained worldwide recognition for his traditional depictions of his ancestral Dreamings.

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