Valda Morton Pwerle

Valda Morton is an Anmetyerre artist from a family of well-known artists from the remote community of Boundary Bore, which is located around 300 kms to the North East of Alice Springs in the Utopia Region. Her famous relatives include Gloria Petyarre, Lucky Morton Kngwarreye, Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarreye and Gracie Morton Pwerle among others. She has grown up listening to the stories and watching the ceremonies performed by these women and others from her community which relate to the Bush Melon. The Bush Melon is an important food source in this area, although in recent years the Bush Melon has become scarcer. It is collected by the women and can be eaten fresh, or it can be dried and put away for times of drought when it is not so readily available. Her artworks depict the Awelye (Body Paint) designs which are painted onto the women’s bodies using ochres, ash and charcoal. When the women have painted these designs, a ceremony is held which gives thanks for the abundance of the melon and to ensure it regenerates for the next season.

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