Kudditji Kngwarreye - Aboriginal Art
Kudditji Kngwarreye (1938 – 23 January 2017) was an Australian Aboriginal artist from the Utopia community in the Northern Territory. He was the brother (through kinship) of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye and like his skin sister Emily, was one of the most prominent and successful artists in the history of contemporary indigenous Australian art. Kngwarreye was born and lived in the Anmatyerre language group at Alhalkere in the Utopia community, about 250 km north east of Alice Springs.
His country was given the name Utopia by German Settlers, who transformed the land in to cattle stations. He became a skilled stockman, which in recent years we as a nation have begun to recognise the key role Aboriginal people played in the development in the cattle industry in Australia. Kudditji witnessed the success of Albert Namatjira, and experienced the 1967 referendum. Kudditji and his countrymen had their land claim approved in 1979 and throughout the years he has felt the effects of different government policies on Indigenous people of the Northern Territory. In 2006 Kudditji was named as one of the top 50 most collectible artists in Australia by Art Collector magazine.
In January 2017 he peacefully passed away in a retirement home in Alice Springs where I had the pleasure to visit him before his passing.