Lorna Napurrula Fencer was born about 1925 at Yartulu, and is custodian of her inherited land, Yurnurrpa, situated near the Granites
Mine area of the Tanami Desert. Her father's country is Wapurtarli.
In 1949 many Warlpiri, including Lorna, were forcibly transported to the government settlement at Lajamanu (originally called Hooker Creek) situated in the country of Gurindji people on the edge of the Tanami Desert, 250 miles to the north of their own country around Yuendumu. Lorna nevertheless maintained and strengthened her cultural identity through ceremonial activity and art. A prominent woman in the community, she has played an increasingly significant role as an educator.
The travels of Napurrula and Nakamarra kinship or "skin" groups are the inspiration for Lorna's work. She is custodian of the dreamings associated with bush potato (yarla), caterpillar (luju), and also bush tomato, bush plum, many seeds and water for the Napurrula, Nakamarra, Japarrula and Jakamarra skin groups. Lorna had been painting since 1986 and began painting with a small group of women who collectively produced the first women's paintings for the Wanayaka Art Centre in Lajamanu.
Lorna was a senior Walpiri Law Custodian and paints many dreamings from her country Yumurrpa , near the Granites in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory. In bold, thickly applied paint, Lorna uses vibrant colours in a layered dotting to form the detail of the painting over a base colour. The bold underlying colour then makes the clear lines of the painting in a kind of reverse background, foreground effect.
Lorna paints Yarla ( Yam or Bush Potatoe ), and her dreamings, Wapirti and Marlujarra entitle her to paint Ngalatji ( sweet potato ), Little white flower, Bush Tomato, Bush Yam, Caterpillar, Wallaby / Kangaroo tucker, and even certain men's stories , including boomerang entities. Like all Traditional women, before she began painting on canvas, she painted on traditional women's coolamons and digging sticks for ceremony.
Sadly Lorna Passed away in 2006
Collections Held :
~ Christensen Collection, Museum of Victoria Melbourne
~ National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
~ The Holmes'A'Court Collection, Perth
~ Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
~ Art Bank, Sydney
~ Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
~ Ganter Mayer Collection
~ Margaret Carnegie Collection
~ The Laverty Collection, Sydney
Solo Exhibitions :
~ 1997 - Me Warlpiri,
~ 1998 - Yulyulu, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
~ 1999 - St. Valentine's Exhibition, Fireworks Gallery Brisbane
~ 1999 - Tracks Across the Lanscape. Land Rover Showroom Sydney
~ 1999 - Wild Warlpiri Women, Coo-e Aboriginal Art Gallery,Sydney
~ 1999 - Yapa, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne