Next month, a sale of Australian and Aboriginal art will include Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s canvas, My Country (valued at more than $150,000).
This is from Elton and David Furnish, whose passion for collecting photography and glass sculpture is well known. What is less known, according to The Australian, is that Elton occasionally buys art Down Under.
In 1997 he spent $46,000 at Sotheby’s in Melbourne acquiring the vast landscape by the doyenne of Northern Territory artists, which is 133cm tall and 3.7m long.
Kngwarreye died the previous year after a career spanning less than a decade and which began only when she turned 80. Many of her artworks were titled My Country but few are as big.
Indigenous art dealer Tim Klingender ran Sotheby’s Aboriginal art department at the time the musician bought the picture.
He said My Country was not the only Aboriginal artwork in Elton’s collection but it was particularly significant.
“His main focus has been photography but he’s a very enthusiastic collector across a number of areas,” he added.
The artwork will be sold through Bonhams on June 6.