Abie Loy Kemarre was born c. 1972 in Utopia in Central Australia. Her works on canvas have been shown and collected nationally and internationally. Her paintings are held in major collections all over the world and she was twice a finalist in the Telstra NATSIAA Awards. She rightly is considered as one of the most talented and exciting young Aboriginal artists.
ABIE LOY - IN SHORT
Abie is a third-generation Aboriginal painter who grew up in Utopia amongst some of Australia's most famous Indigenous artists and the activity of art making has always surrounded since she was just six years old.
Today it could rightly be claimed that Abie is arguably one of the most talented and exciting young Indigenous artists'.
STORIES / DREAMINGS
Whilst she is amongst the top contemporary painters in the country her subject matter is traditional. Bush Turkey Dreaming and Leaves are two of the major stories she is entitled to paint under Eastern Anmatyerre Law.
ABORIGINAL ART AWARDS
Abie has twice been a finalist in the Telstra NATSIAA awards (2001, 2005).
ABIE LOY - A REGULAR ARTIST WITH BOOMERANG ART
Abie Loy painted for Boomerang Art on and off for the last 18 years. Presently she resides in Utopia, 250 kms north/east of Alice Springs. On her recent visit to our studio in Southport (Gold Coast) in July 2017 she stayed in our place. She was in company of Gloria Petyarre who created some of the most stunning paintings ever. Abie loves the Gold Coast and was excited to see lots of Bush Turkeys on the Spit at the entry to the Broadwater. It’s a pleasure to have this hardworking Aboriginal artist around. She is keen to come back more often. She would like to walk in the mornings along the ocean in warm weather and also to visit the Gold Coast Art Center.
ABIE LOY - THE WHOLE STORY
Abie is a third generation Utopia painter who comes from an outstanding painting family. Her Grandmother is the celebrated Kathleen Petyarre, an artist who began back in the days of batik and remains amongst the greats of the painting movement. She has been responsible for guiding Abie's career and, in turn, Abie has learned a great deal about her indigenous traditions and modern painting techniques. Kathleen's painting sisters including Violet, Gloria and Ada Bird Petyarre, have also been influential while all of them drew inspiration from another family member, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. It might be seen that Abie has been in the perfect position to develop as a unique Utopia painter, encouraged and assisted on all sides.
"When I was a little girl I would watch my grandmother Kathleen Petyarre and all the other mob doing the silk, making the silk. I began learning doing silk with Kathleen. Kathleen was also a schoolteacher at our school, Utopia School... When I was a very young child my grandmother told me she wanted me to be an artist - I love painting and so I thought it over and decided to be an artist then. Ever since those days of watching closely those ladies doing silk I wanted to be an artist too... When my grandmother Kathleen turned to painting in the 80's, I watched that closely too, and ever since, I've always been an artist."
Indeed, Abie was just six years old when the batik movement began at Utopia. The activity of art and art making has always surrounded her. It might be said that indigenous modernity in art was part of her own traditional upbringing. With traditional dreamings and mythologies, and her own innovative painting techniques, Abie has created a body of work that places her at the head of the rising generation of Utopia painters.
By 2004 it could rightly be claimed that, Abie is arguably one of the most talented and exciting young Indigenous artists - or for that matter, Australian artists - to emerge in the last decade. Her success is built on discipline, innovation and technique. However, she does not step outside the bounds that have been put in place through Eastern Anmatyarre law. She is the eldest of five children and was born on Utopia Station. Her mother is Margaret Loy and her father, Ray Loy Pula. The family's language is Alyawarre/Eastern Anmatyerre. At the age of 22 Abie began painting on canvas. Her reputation has partly been established by her astonishing attention to detail and fine dotting. Right from the beginning she demonstrated artistic talent and technical skill with batik and canvas. While she is amongst the top contemporary painters in the country her subject matter is traditional. Bush Turkey Dreaming and Leaves are the two of the major stories Abie is entitled to paint under Eastern Anmatyerre Law.
Christine Nicholls has noted in 'A New Star Rises in Utopia", Australian Art Review No 4 /March to June 2004, that Kemarre
".....depicts her Dreaming Ancestor, the female Bush Bustard walking, eating her way through, and sometimes flying through her ancestral country. As the Bush Hen walks along, she eats her favourite fruit, particularly solanum berries like the desert raisin.
The other major Dreaming that Abie Loy Kemarre visually represents is the Bush Leaf (or Leaves) Dreaming. This is an inheritance from Abie's father's side. The bush leaf grows in a swamp near some sandhills close to the Utopia region in Abie's grandfather's country and it is known for its wonderful curative properties. The bush leaves can be used to cure a raft of illnesses including colds, headaches, and bad sores. A paste is made from the leaves, which is then rubbed into the affected part of the body. The leaves can also be mixed with water and drunk as a cure for a range of ailments."