My Country - Joycie Morton by Joycie Pitjarra Morton

My Country – Joycie Morton

The community of Ampilatwatja made a conscious decision not to paint ‘altyerr’ dreaming stories, the artists paint their country where those stories sit.

Joycie’s husband is from Ampilatwatja and she has lived here for many years, however her country is “out Rum Jungle Way.”

In 1952 the Australian Government funded the setting up of a mine and treatment plant to provide uranium oxide concentrate to the UK-US under a contract which ran from 1953 to 1962. Rum Jungle was then the largest construction in the Northern Territory. The Rum Jungle mine closed in 1971. One of the main environmental impacts of uranium mining is the creation of large volumes of radioactive mine waste (tailings) which are left behind on the site. Joycie’s land is still recovering from the damage that was done.

This painting of Joycie’s depicts a happier time, when she remembers the land from which she came.