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Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye and the Pencil Yam Flower

February 13, 2019 1 min read

Aboriginal artist Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye paints flowers with bottle

The diagonal line of dotted arcs in this new painting by Elizabeth Kngwarreye is symbolic of the pencil yam; small tubers growing beneath the surface of a native trailing herb. These are still harvested by Elizabeth and her people today.

Either side of this, and with the small swift strokes of an applicator bottle, Elizabeth captures the untamed movement of the leaves and yellow flowers as the herb emerges from the ground after significant rain and sweeps across the desert floor, bringing the bush to life.

Elizabeth has used green and yellow in this piece in particular to convey authenticity in the colours. 

View painting »

Pencil yam yellow flower and trailing herb

Pencil Yam Dreaming

In the Dreamtime, two different seeds were born that created two different species of pencil yam. Kame, the tiny seed of the pencil yam called Atnwelarr, is a major Dreaming story for the people of Alhalkere.

The Atnwelarr is a trailing herb or creeper, sometimes covering large areas, with bright green leaves, yellow flowers and long skinny yams (swollen roots).  These are an important food source which can be eaten raw or cooked in hot sand and ashes. 

Aboriginal artist Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye drawing symbols in the sand

Above: Elizabeth Kngwarreye illustrates pencil yam symbols in the sand.

 

Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye Paintings

Small Aboriginal Painting by Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye

Aboriginal paintings by Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye

Aboriginal paintings by Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye

View all current paintings by Elizabeth Kngwarreye » 

 

Watch

 Watch Elizabeth Kngwarreye paint this small Pencil Yam Flower painting.

 


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