Kudditji Kngwarreye is the younger brother of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, and an Anmatyerre elder and custodian of many important Dreamings and a custodian for ceremonial sites located in his country at Utopia Station, and many of his paintings refer to sites at Boundary Bore, where men’s initiation ceremonies are performed. Born 1928, Kudditji was brought up in the Utopia region before starting to work as a stockman and mine worker.
His paintings “My Country” are now his trademark
Around eighteen years ago, Kudditji was inspired to record his unique Dreamings and stories of his country on the more permanent medium of acrylic on canvas. Kudditji’s first paintings reflected his traditional upbringing and utilised the fine dots and symbols indicative of the Men’s ceremonies and Emu Dreamings from Utopia. His strong, traditional early work and distinctive style found immediate acceptance and recognition and was highly sought after. About ten years ago, he became intrigued by the possibilities of acrylic paint and the kaleidoscope of colours now available to him. Kudditji began to experiment by moving away from the dot style altogether and using a heavily loaded paint brush to sweep broadly across the canvas in stages. These paintings depict romantic images of his country, accentuating the colour and form of the landscape including the depth of the sky in the Wet season and in the pinks and oranges of the shimmering summer heat. Kudditji’s beautiful, soft and mesmerising landscapes of his country are unmistakably his own and express his extensive knowledge and love of his country. His ‘My Country’ style has seen him rise to international stardom.
Courtesy University Southern Queensland.