Emily was one of the senior artists in the Utopian transition from batak print-making to the use of acrylic paint on canvas. She was the adopted daughter of Jacob Jones, an influential lawman in the Alyawarre community. It wasnt until she was nine years old that she had her first encounter with white people.
As a young woman she worked as a stock-hand on the pastoral lands surrounding Utopia, making her something of an oddity, stockman’s work usually being considered Men’s Business while other women of this time primarily helped with domestic chores, cooking, and medicines.
She became a prominent leader of womens ceremonial business at Utopia. Her work received widespread recognition and acclaim from the moment she began painting – the strength, knowledge and independence of Emily’s character are demonstrated through the free flowing, vivid and beautifully composed canvases that continue to grace gallery walls, exhibition spaces and private collections around the world.