This enormous, gorgeous painting by sisters Amy French and Lily Long testifies to the vitality and diversity of indigenous painting in the Pilbara. Karlamilyi is a complex and layered work, brimming with knowledge about native animals and plants, journeys through country, ancestral beings, waterholes and landforms. French and Long's distinct visual language challenges notions of desert painting, blending figurative and abstract imagery to present an energised landscape that is filled with elements of the seen and unseen world.
Writers and senior Martu translators worked with the artists to generate interpretative information about the stories and knowledge embedded in this significant painting. Karlamilyi is presented with an interpretive wall diagram and accompanied by recordings of French and Long singing.
By Lily Long (Jatarr) & Amy French
Karlamilyi, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 3 x 5 m
Amy French and Lily Long with their painting Karlamilyi, acrylic on canvas , 300 x 500 cm, 2010 at Karlamilyi 2011, photo: Gabrielle Sullivan
Amy French looks onto Karlamilyi at Fremantle Arts Centre, 2012, photo: Matthew Saville
Amy French with her painting Karlamilyi, acrylic on canvas, 300 x 500 cm, 2010 at Karlymilyi 2011, photo: Gabrielle Sullivan
Lily Long with her painting Karlamilyi, at Fremantle Arts Centre 2012, photo: Matthew Saville