Jedda Purvis Kngwarreye

Born: c. 1969
Skin Name: Kngwarreye
Region: Utopia
Country: Alhalkere
Community: Atneltyey (Boundary Bore)
Language: Eastern Anmatyerre
Subjects and Themes (Dreaming): Medicine Dreaming, Yam Dreaming

Jedda is the daughter of well-known artist, Greeny Purvis Petyarre. Her Dreaming is the Yam Seed or Kame. The yam is an important food source for the people of the central desert and a significant Dreamtime story. Ceremonies celebrating atnwelarr (pencil yam) are performed to ensure continual growth.


The pencil yam is a trailing creeper with bright green leaves and yellow flowers which spreads across large areas. In depicting her Dreaming, Jedda, paints dots to represent the yam seeds. The linear patterns represent the root system of the plant.

Like many women from Utopia, Jedda also paints Bush Medicine Dreaming which is celebrated through dance and song at women’s ceremonies. In painting this Dreaming, Jedda depicts the particular leaves which the women collect from plant species which contain medicinal properties. The leaves are boiled, resin is added and mixed into a paste which is used as bush medicine for many ailments.

Jedda is an emerging artist and represents the next generation of contemporary aboriginal artists from Utopia.


Painting/s by Jedda Purvis Kngwarreye: