Amelia Hurrell

Mowanjum Art and Culture Centre

Amelia as a young child moved with her mother to Mowanjum, 10kms south of Derby in the West Kimberley of Western Australia. She was born in Darwin NT to a European father and a Umida/Ungardun woman who came from the coastal region of this part of the Kimberley.

As a child Amelia was taken out to her grandfather’s country Yaloon/Cone Bay, where her eldest uncle Sam Umbagai told her dreamtime stories and about country. He was always telling her the story about Dumbi the Owl.

Amelia’s uncle told her to respect the country and not to harm it or the animals, or the spirits of the land will get angry and will punish them. She tells how she learnt it first-hand, ‘When I was a child I was making humbug and not listening, I fell and hurt myself very badly and from that day on I always listened.’

Amelia only started to paint within the last five years and her early work particularly featured the Jilinya, the first bush woman. ‘I was told she is the mother of all people, and there is a place in George Waters area on the coast where her dreaming is at, and I am connected to this place through my mother’s grandfather and that is the reason I paint her.’