Mary Kemarre Morton

Skin: Kemarre (also known as Kamara)
Language Group: Alyawarr
Region: Utopia, Northern Territory
Vendor: Eastern Desert Art
Dreaming: Awely (Body Paint), Bush Plum (Arnwekety)

One of our great elder women from Utopia, Kwementyaye Morton died this morning – 7 July 2016. She was born in 1925 on MacDonald Downs into the Alyawarr tribe  and as one of the senior women on Utopia she had responsibility for initiating young women. She was involved in painting body designs on young women, sung Awely songs to encourage their fertility and teaching them the rules of life. Her country was on the northern end of Utopia and she had custodial responsibility for the Kurrajong tree seed. She was married to Billy Morton (deceased), who was a renowned sculptor. She was passionately involved in maintaining traditional practices for her people and was known as one of the foremost bush medicine women in this area. We extend our sympathy to her family many of whom are highly regarded artists.

Collections:
  • Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands.
  • Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
  • Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
  • The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
  • The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
Exhibitions:
  • 1989 - Utopia Women's Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney;
  • 1990 - Utopia - A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire and Scotland.;
  • 1991 - The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin;
  • 2006 - Senior Women of Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane
  • 2007 - Desert Song, Brush with Art Festival, Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, SA
  • 2008 - Power of Place, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc., Adelaide
  • 2010 - Aboriginal Artists UK Spring Show 11-13 June, London
  • 2010 - Desert Icons, Australasian Arts Projects, Singapore
  • 2015 - Aboriginal Art in UK, Wimbledon Fine Arts, London