Art Nomad
Art Nomad
Brighton, Victoria 3186 Australia
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Abie Loy KEMARRE (b.1972)

Abie Loy Kemarre was born in February 1972 on Utopia Station, 275 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory.   She was the first of five children born to Margaret Loy Pula (Wynne Prize winner in 2012) and Ray Loy Pula. She is also the niece of celebrated artist Gloria Petyarre, the granddaughter of respected artist Kathleen Petyarre and related to Emily Kngwarreye.  She belongs to the Anmatyerr clan and speaks Eastern Anmatyerr and speaks English as her second language.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s Abie Kemarre watched her women relatives working with silk and batik and this, together with her grandmother’s desire for her to be an artist, awakened her ambition to be an artist and be successful.

Abie Kemarre began painting when she was nineteen under the tutelage of her grandmother who taught her how to use details and tiny glistening dots to create complex effects with which to tell her stories.  She has become a wonderfully talented colourist and contemporary designer who uses acrylics on linen and canvas to experiment with line, colour and form.

Through her powerful and beautiful paintings, Abie Loy Kemarre is able to convey to the viewer the sensitivity and strength she derives from her Dreaming and her country.

Abie Kemarre inherited the Bush Hen Dreaming from her grandfather and her bush hen paintings represent the bush hen searching for bush seeds, bush plums and bush tomatoes on her dreaming path across the country.  This wandering is illustrated by fine dots.  Because of customary law this was the only dreaming she was permitted to depict in her early years as an artist.

Tribal law now allows Abie Kemarre in her later paintings to represent her cultural knowledge in respect of bush medicine leaf dreaming, emu dreaming, sand hills, body paint designs and Awelye. (Awelye belongs to women and is one of the most powerful women’s ceremonies involving body paint, dance and song.   It helps make sick people strong and helps maintain the fertility of nature.

Abie Kemarre has always been a highly disciplined artist who strives for the outcome she desires.  She has a strong technical command of all aspects of painting, including line, form, surface quality, use of colour, balance of composition and a willingness to be experimental within her tribal law.  She is a leader of the Aboriginal and Australian contemporary art movement and is one of the most talented artists to come on the Australian scene for years.

Abie Kemarre’s work is held in major collections worldwide and she has had solo and group exhibitions in Australia, Bali (batik works), Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.  She also has works in prestigious public and private collections in Australia and overseas.

Abie Kemarre, now 41 years old, lives with her husband, Terry Rumble, and her family group at Mosquito Bore near Utopia Station.  She also spends time at Lake Nash and Adelaide where she continues to paint and be acclaimed as one of Australia’s foremost artists.


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