Margo Neale, curator:
The action of the threshing and winnowing of the native grasses is sensed in the character of these lines.
Works referred to by Emily as 'sacred grasses' were mostly completed in 1996, the last year of her life.
These paintings reveal a speed and energy that belie her advanced years. Sensed in these works is the action of grasses being winnowed by the wind to release the seeds that are ground to make seed cakes for ceremonies and everyday sustenance. Scribbly in character, the tangled massing of lines is scrawled over the surface, sometimes almost translucent and at other times thick and textural.
These multicoloured marks evoke the spiky angularity of grasses that contrasts with the meandering tendrils of the yam series that preceded them. Their immediacy reveals an artist completely at ease with her materials, with a command of mark-making that demonstrates the assurance and confidence of one who has produced over 3,000 works in only 8 years.