Abie Loy was born c.1972 at Utopia, 240 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. This Central Desert community is known for its output of significant and high quality artwork. Abie Loy belongs to the Anmatyerr clan group and speaks Eastern Anmatyerr. Her family is renowned for the extraordinary artistic talent it produces; headed by the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, and continued by her grandmother Kathleen Petyarre, and great aunt, Gloria Petyarre.
Abie Loy began painting in 1994 under the tutelage of her grandmother Kathleen Petyarre. Kathleen passed the dreaming stories of her country, Artenya, to the young artist. Abie Loy interpreted these stories in her paintings with the Bush Hen Dreaming featuring prominently in her earlier works. These early works also featured the fine dotting technique that is stylistically associated with her grandmother Kathleen. This technique produces a fine optic effect, which causes the surface of the canvas to shimmer in the eyes of the viewer.
Through her career Abie Loy Kemarre’s work has developed a bold and more fluid style and the striking, expressive designs she creates have brought her much attention and acclaim. The designs featured in these more recent works often reference Awelye, the sacred designs painted on the body at women’s ceremonies. These ceremonies celebrate the fertility of the land and are a way for the wearer to pay respect to their personal Dreaming. Abie Loy’s bold colour palette and her observant yet experimental use of traditional techniques reflect her considerable talent and growing significance as a Central Desert artist.
Abie Loy Kemarre’s work is featured in many important public and private collections, both in Australia and overseas. She is also widely exhibited, with several solo shows across Australia and inclusion in international touring exhibitions. Abie Loy Kemarre has also been a finalist in the 14th and 18th annual Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Australia’s most respected and longstanding Indigenous art awards.
“Abie Loy is closely related to a host of famous and extraordinary women painters - Gloria Pitjara, Ada Bird Petyarre, and the late Emily Kngwarreye. Her Grandmother is Kathleen Petyarre. Yet, her painting has not come to public attention because of these famous connections, but because she is simply the most talented and exciting young contemporary Indigenous artist to emerge for some years.
“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 possess 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 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
2007 Abie Loy Kemarre, Awelye, Bett Gallery Hobart, Tas
2006 Abie Loy Kemarre, Bush Leaf & Other Dreaming’s, Gadfly Gallery, Perth, WA
2005 Abie Loy Kemarre, New Paintings, Gadfly Gallery, Perth, WA
2005 Abie Loy Kemarre, Solo Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
2004 Abie Loy Kemarre, Solo Exhibition, Gadfly Gallery, Perth, WA
2004 Abie Loy Kemarre, Solo Exhibition, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2003 Abie Loy Kemarre, First Solo Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
2010, Australian Trilogy, Dennis Nons, Abie Loy Kemmare, G W Bott, Paris France
2009 Best of the Best 11, Framed Gallery, Darwin
2009 Ochres to Dust, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney
2008 Utopia Modern Women’s Collection 1999 – 2002, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Light & Space, The Chicho Museum, Naoshima, Japan
Jewels of the Desert, Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
Emily in Tokyo, Visions of Utopia that Penetrate the Soul of the Eastern Desert, Art Front Gallery, Hillside Forum, Tokyo Japan
2007 Parcours des Mondes, Galerie Anne & Just Jaeckin, Arts d'Australie Stephane Jacob, Paris, France
The Best of the Best, Jewels of the Desert, Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
Treasures of the Spirit, Creative Returns: Investing in Aboriginal Art, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal Art Exhibition, University of NSW, Sydney, NSW
Aboriginal Art, 2007, Scott Livesy Galleries, Armadale, Vic
2007 Utopia & Beyond 2007, Aboriginal art from East to West, Coo-ee Gallery, Avalon Recreation Centre, Avalon, NSW
2006 Prism, Contemporary Australian Art, Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Dreaming Their Way: Australian Aboriginal Women Painters, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
Dreaming Their Way: Australian Aboriginal Women Painters, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire,
Recent Painting, Kathleen Petyarre & Abie Loy, Framed Gallery, Darwin, N.T
Abie Loy & Kathleen Petyarre, New Paintings, Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Paddington, NSW
2005 Aboriginal Vision in Contemporary Australian Art, Levi – Kaplan Collection, The Wright Exhibition Centre, Seattle, WA, USA
Utopia & Beyond, Maunsell Wicks, Paddington, NSW
Abie Loy Kemarre, Dreamings, Gadfly Gallery, Perth, WA., July 22nd
2004 Arrnkerthe, New Paintings, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, NSW., Nov 11th.
2003 Abie Loy - Recent Paintings, Fire-works Gallery, Brisbane, Qld
2002 Abie Loy & Violet Petyarre, Recent Paintings, Mary Place Gallery, Paddington, NSW
2001 15th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Exhibition, Darwin, NT
2000 The Collection, Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, SA Utopia, Framed Gallery, Darwin, Northern Territory, 10 - 27th March.
1999 North by North East, Landscape & Ceremonial paintings from Utopia, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
1999 SALA Week, Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, SA
Joint Indonesian - Utopia Batik Workshop for Third Pacific Arts
Utopia Recent Works, King Street Gallery, Perth, WA 1998 Our Country Then and Now, Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, SA.,
Raiki Wara: Long Cloth from Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic
15th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Exhibition, Darwin, NT, Australia
Utopia Dreamings, Japingka Gallery, Perth, W.A. Australia
1997 Schilderijen uit Utopia, Songlines Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 20 - 7 June.
Dreampower, Art of Contemporary Aboriginal Australia, Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia Dreampower, Art of Contemporary Aboriginal Australia, Galeri
1997 Ardiyanto, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, July 5 - 20.
Documenta, Kasel, Germany, July.
Dreampower, Art of Contemporary Aboriginal Australia, The National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
14th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Touring Art Exhibition
The Alice Prize Art Exhibition, Alice Springs, NT
2006 Melbourne Art Fair, 3- 6th August Melbourne, Vic.,
2004 Melbourne Art Fair, 29th Sept., - 3rd Oct., Melbourne, 2004
2003 Art Miami 2003, January 10 – 14, Miami, Florida, USA
2003 ARCO Art Fair Madrid, February 13 – 17th, Madrid, Spain
2003 Aboriginal Art Fair, 2003, July, Sydney. Australia
The Ishibashi Foundation, Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Lyon Musee of Art, Lyon, France
The Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australia.
Festival of Arts Foundation Collection, Adelaide, South Australia.
The Adelaide University Art Collection, South Australia.
The Levi-Kaplan Collection, Seattle, USA.
The Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, USA.
The Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Commission Collection.
The National Gallery of Victoria, Victoria.
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth, Western Australia.