Kathleen began her art career in the late 1970’s in the medium of batik with over eighty other women from the Utopia Region in Central Australia. Her work in batik is featured in ‘Utopia A Picture Story’.
When the acrylics on canvas movement swept Utopia in the late 1980’s Kathleen, like the other women, swiftly changed mediums. Kathleen’s popularity as an artist grew in the early 2000’s for her simplistic ‘Anwekety’ (Bush Plum or Conkerberry) paintings. Her work has been exhibited around the globe and is also featured frequently in Aboriginal Art Auctions.
Kathleen speaks little English, but absolutely loves to talk particularly about her Dreamings and her country. She is enthusiastic about her work and continues to try and teach the wider world about her paintings and the Anwekety that features in them. Her influence is so great that her children are also starting to paint for Mbantua Gallery and, we hope, keep the tradition alive.
This amazingly energetic elderly woman has a vibrant quality in her work that is unbeatable. Kathleen’s paintings reflect her energy and colour. The paintings are being well received not only amongst the traditional Aboriginal art collectors, but the new wave of art lovers wanting to incorporate the element of traditional style of the indigenous people, and take advantage of the amazing colour combination and effect of Kathleen’s paintings.
We can be thankful that Kathleen is still able to impart her knowledge and tradition in such a beautiful way and hope that the world continues to show their appreciation of this woman’s tradition and story, while she is still able to tell it.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
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.
2005 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions; New York, Connecticut
2006 Colours of Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
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
2008 Dreamings – the Land, Outback Aboriginal Land, Caulfield, Vic
Brody, A. 1990, Utopia A Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes á Court Collection Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth
Latz, P. 1995, Bushfires and Bushtucker. IAD Press, Alice Springs