Jedda Purvis Kngwarreye
Jedda is the daughter of Greeny Purvis Petyarre (sadly passed in the early 2000s) Kathleen Purvis Kemarre who are both well-known Utopian Artists. Greeny is the senior custodian for Alhlkere country and one of Utopia’s finest and world-famous artists. Jedda and her sisters Judy, Maureen, and Jennifer all have been artists for years. Jedda comes from a region well known for producing some of the most highly collectible and well-known Aboriginal artists, including her aunt, the famous, Emily Kame Kngwarreye.
Utilising a mix of contemporary and traditional design, Jedda's design’s subjects often include Kame (pencil yam seed) Dreaming. The colourful dots Jedda uses in her designs represent the Kame seeds of the pencil yam. The fine, flowing patterns they create are demonstrative of the importance of this bush food for their people.
About the Story
An emerging artist, Jedda, depicts the Dreaming “Kame”, which was handed down to her from her father’s side of the family. It is one of Utopia’s most famous Dreamtime stories, which was shared with Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the most well-known and collectible Aboriginal artist of all time.
“Kame” or Yam is an important plant that grows in the Utopia region; it is an important food source for Aboriginal people as well as a traditional healing plant, as it has medicinal properties used to treat ailments such as sores and bites. The women celebrate the pencil yam through ceremonies that ensure perpetual germination for future seasons.
The Aboriginal word for pencil yam is Atnwelarr and it is a trailing ground creeper with bright green leaves and yellow flowers which spread across large areas of land. Jedda depicts the root system of the yam plant.