Textile length, batik, cotton, Sandra Holmes Kemarre, Utopia, Northern Territory, c.1985
NOTE: This woman is desceased and caution should be taken when displaying textile, only the name 'Kemarre' should be used in any acknowledgement (note on tag supplied by Rodney Gooch). Designed and made by Sandra Holmes Kemarre from Utopia in Central Australia. She was involved in a number of exhibitions during the 1980s including Utopia: A Picture Story, for the Robert Holmes a'Court collection. The early batiks made by these Aboriginal artists used motifs drawn from plant, animal and natural forms that were important to them, as well as motifs used in body painting.
Made by Sandra Holmes K Kemarre at Utopia in Central Australia. In 1979, after 50 years, the Utopia pastoral lease had been returned to the traditional owners, the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre Aboriginal people. They developed camps in various parts of the 'homeland'. From the late 1970s batik on textiles and later painting on canvas, and woodcarving, became important aspects of the economy. Batik is produced outside by artists sitting on the ground. The motifs are largely drawn from traditional body and ground painting, and refer largely to the relationship with the land. The artists are increasingly conscious that they are making works for an outside market, and adapt the motifs for this purpose.
The batik was made around the time Gooch started to work for CAAMA (ie. 1982/83). It could have been made earlier, because this is made on cotton, and the artists were introduced to silk about this time. Gooch has dated it at around 1983.
Previously owned by Rodney Gooch, Alice Springs. Gooch started working for the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association in 1982, and opened the CAAMA shop in 1983, selling artworks made by artists from Utopia. In 1988 he entered into partnership with Sydney based artist Christopher Hodges, who opened Utopia Art Sydney in 1989. This batik was collected by Gooch when he was representing the artists through the CAAMA shop.