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Susan Purvis Kngwarreye

"Kame Dreaming" by Susan Purvis Kngwarreye


Commission Painting

Susan Purvis Kngwarreye was born in 1962 and is the sister of well-renown Utopia artist Kathleen Kemarre, the sister-in-law of Greeny Purvis Petyarre, auntie to Jedda, Judy, Maureen, Jennifer Purvis Knwarreye, as well as of highly regarded artist Delvine Petayrre.

Design Inspiration

Utilising a mix of contemporary and traditional design, Susan's stories often include Kame (pencil yam seed) Dreaming. The colourful dots Susan uses in her designs represent the Kame seeds of the pencil yam. Her pattern-forming geometric compositions are demonstrative of the importance of kame as bush medicine and as a food source, and the inherent connection this resource is to country and ceremony.

About the Story

An emerging artist, Susan, 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.