Abie Loye Kemarre

Abie Loye Kemarre

Known also as: Abbie Loy Kemarre, Abie Loy Akemarr

Date of Birth: c.1972

Region: Lyentye (Mosquito Bore) community on Utopia, Northern Territory

Language: Anmatyerre and Alyawarr/Atnwengerrp

Abie Loy was born in 1972 at Utopia Station, 275 kilometres (170 miles) North East of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Central Australia.  Abie Loy belongs to the Anmatyerre clan group and speaks three local languages with English as a second language. 

Abie Loy lives at Lyentye (Mosquito Bore) near Utopia Station with her family group comprising of her mother Margaret Loy, her brothers and sisters and her grandmother, Kathleen Petyarre.  Currently, Abie divides her time between Adelaide, South Australia, Mosquito Bore and Lake Nash.

Abie Loy began painting in 1994 under the tutelage of her famous grandmother Kathleen Petyarre who imparted the methodology for creating the depth-of-field of tiny shimmering dots in her highly delicate, Bush Hen Dreaming paintings.Abie Loy has custodial rights of the “Bush Hen Dreaming” which she depicts as a metonymic device in her Bush Hen Dreaming and associated Sand-hills and Body Painting series of works.

Through her powerful and beautiful paintings Abie Loy is able to convey to the viewer the sensitivity and strength she derives from her Dreaming and her country. Abie paints “Awelye” which refers to the ceremonial world of women, or women’s business, and includes women’s ceremonial body designs.  It also might refer to a particular ceremony and the designs, songs and dances associated with it.  Awelye was used as a title for many of Emily Kngwarreye’s paintings, also conveying the meaning of “the whole lot”, summing up Aboriginal artists’ understanding of painting as a reflection of the interconnectedness of all things, rather than individual representations of particular things.

“Abie Loy is closely related to a host of famous and extraordinary women painters - Gloria Pitjara, Ada Bird Petyarre, and the late Emily Kngwarreye and of course her Grandmother Kathleen Petyarre. However, her painting has not come to public attention because of these famous connections, but because she is simply a most talented and exciting young contemporary Indigenous artist.

“Born in February 1972, the young Eastern Anmatyerre girl grew up in remote Utopia, almost 300 kilometres north east of Alice Springs, where she observed her older women relatives at work on their art.  Their efforts were to prove an international success story. 

“Under the formidable influence of her Grandmother, Kathleen Petyarre, Abie Loy’s talent has blossomed.  She is a highly disciplined artist, working and re-working ideas many times until she is satisfied with the outcome.  She possesses a strong technical command of all aspects of painting, including line, intrinsic form and surface quality, use of colour, and overall balance of composition - but she is also willing to experiment with all these elements to the extent permitted by Eastern Anmatyerre law, of which she is deeply observant.”

Dr Christine Nicholls, A New Star Rises in Utopia
Australian Art review March/June 2004