Marie Mudgedell Australian, Jaru / Kukatja / Ngarti, b. 1948
Marie is the oldest daughter of Ma (Bridget) Mudgedell (deceased). She was born at Sturt Creek Station and later moved to Ruby Plains with her family. Her mother’s country was near Yagga Yagga, Ngardi people’s country. Her father was from Sturt Creek, a place called Killi Killi. Marie left her family to attend the school at Balgo Mission. When she finished her schooling she worked in the laundry of Billiluna Station where she met her husband with whom she moved to Balgo to put their children through school.
It was at Balgo that Marie started painting her water dreaming and the country of Sturt Creek. Marie has been involved with the Language Center producing Tjukurrpa stories for the children in traditional language. She is a Church leader and strong law woman: she takes the young girls through ceremony; is a respected storyteller, and is knowledgeable about bush medicines. Marie paints Yawulyu - an annual women's ceremony and gathering which is a creation story from a long me ago. It is a special women’s ceremony where many women come together from all different tribes and language groups to share their songs and dance. Marie also paints about the traditional birthing process, and the rituals and joy surrounding new life. The bush baby story is about the proper way babies are traditionally born. Women of the right skin set up camp while the men are not to enter, the men have their own ceremony away from the women. The women with the wrong skin sit between the two camps and look after the children. Birth is sacred. This is how Marie was born and she has witnessed and participated in many of these sacred ceremonies.