Lorna Fencer Naparrula (dec) circa 1924 – 2006
Lorna Fencer Naparrula was a senior artist from Lajamanu, in central Northern Territory. She was born around 1924, near where the Granites mine is now situated in the Tanami Desert and is the custodian of “Yummurrpa” country and the Caterpillar and Bush Potato (Yam) Dreaming that are associated with that land.
Along with many Warlpiri people, she was forcibly taken to the government settlement of Lajamanu in 1949, 400kms north of her own country. Despite being uprooted from her traditional land, she has an unrivalled knowledge of her tribal lore and has maintained her cultural identity including the songs and dances that accompany the dreaming of her land.
She is a skilled painter of decorative body designs for ceremonies and traditionally painted on coolamons and digging sticks. In 1986 she painted on canvas for the first time and has gone on to develop a rich, distinctive style. Vivid colour and liberal use of paint are signatures of her work. She has departed from the classical dot style to a free, abstract imagery, working in layers so that the most intimate aspects of her Dreaming are concealed from the observer.
Lorna has gained prominence as a contemporary Aboriginal artist and is represented in International and Australian collections including the Holmes a Court Collection, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the Ganter Myer Collection among others.