Desert Dreamscapes: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings
from the
Collection of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan at the Holter Museum of Art, Page 6



Bush Hen Dreaming - Sand-hill Country, Abbie Loy Kemarre, 72” x 72” Utopia, 2004

At 35, Abie Loy is one of a younger generation of artists creating formidable new work, in a field that has until quite recently been dominated almost exclusively by their elders. Yet tradition has played a strong role in her career. Coming from an extended family which included many renowned and innovative painters, Kathleen and Gloria Petyarre and Emily Kngwarreye to name a few.  The high standard of achievement set by these older woman, imbued Abie from an early age with lofty goals.

Abie Loy began painting under the guidance of her grandmother Kathleen Petyarre. “For such a young person, she is highly disciplined as an artist, often working and reworking ideas many times until satisfied with the outcome. Not only does Kemarre possess a strong technical command of all aspects of painting (line, form, surface quality, choice of color, and overall balance of composition) but, importantly, Kemarre is also willing to play with these elements. Kemarre is experimental in her work to the extent permissible under tribal law, of which she is deeply observant. This capacity for experimentation and innovation with form and color has resulted in some of this young artist’s best, and most recent work.”

Kemarre depicts her Dreaming Ancestor, the female Bush Bustard (Ardeotis Australis) walking, eating her way through, and sometimes flying through her ancestral country. As the Bush Hen walks along, she eats her favorite fruit, particularly solanum berries like the desert raisin. The central track is the line of the Bush Hen’s meandering journey and the stripes the sandhills in this country.