Jedda Purvis Kngwarreye was born in 1969 near Boundary Bore Outstation; the daughter of accomplished Utopian artist Greeny Purvis Petyarre (dec) and Kathleen Kemarre. Jedda has three sisters, Jennifer, Judy, and Maureen.
Jedda’s participated in the well known “Utopia: A Picture Story”, project in the 1980’s where her artistic career began. Jedda’s contribution to the silk batik project, was a bush scene of men and women sitting around their camps sharing hunting and gathering stories with the children while the other members were out hunting for emu and perentie using traditional weapons.
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 Australian Indigenous artist “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.