Earth's Creation

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This article is about the painting. For the formation of the planet Earth, see Hadean.
Earth's Creation
Earth's Creation (1994 painting) by Emily Kame Kngwarreye.jpg
Artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye
Year 1994 (1994)
Medium Acrylic paint on canvas
Dimensions 275.0 cm × 160.0 cm (108.3 in × 63.0 in)
Location National Museum of Australia

Earth's Creation is a painting by the Australian Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. It was painted in 1994 at Utopia, north east of Alice Springs.

Artist and painting[edit]

Emily Kame Kngwarreye was a senior Anmatyerre woman, who only commenced painting when she was aged about 80. In the following eight years she produced an astonishing 3,000 or more paintings; an average of one painting per day.[1]

Earth's Creation is described as part of her "high-colourist" phase.[2] It's dubbed a rich vibrant masterpiece of swirling blues, greens and yellows, from what Kngwarreye called the "green time", after the rains came and the bush erupted in new life. She painted with a 'dump dot' technique, also known as ‘dump dump’,[2] using her brush to pound the acrylic paint onto the canvas and create layers of colour and movement.

The painting represents, in the words of the artist, "whole lot" - Earth's Creation.[3]

Emily's paintings are described by leading international art academics as being equal to the works of Monet and great Abstract artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko.[4] Experts have argued that Earth's Creation, painted at Utopia on the edge of the Simpson Desert in Central Australia by an Australian with no formal or informal training in art, is an even more important painting for Australia than American painter Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles,[5] purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 1973.

Painting history[edit]

After being held in a private collection, Earth’s Creation was purchased by the Mbantua Gallery & Cultural Museum at the Lawson-Menzies auction in Sydney on May 23, 2007 for $1,056,000.[6] At the time, this was the world record price for Aboriginal art.

On the request of the National Museum of Australia (NMA), Earth's Creation was loaned immediately on purchase to tour in Tokyo and Osaka in Japan in 2007,[7][8] and to be exhibited at the National Museum in Canberra in 2008. It was exhibited in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Darwin before heading to Alice Springs, where it had never been displayed publicly.

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