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Lorna Fencer Napurrula
(Aborigine, c.1920-2006)


Year of Birth: c.1920
Birth Place: Yartula, Tanami Desert, Northern Territory
Region: Lajamanu
Language:Warlpiri

 
Brief Biography:
Lorna is a Senior Warlpiri Custodian and she is among a small group of women who collectively produced the first paintings at Lajamanu. Lorna Fencer was among the many Warlpiri people forcibly relocated to Lajamanu along Hookers Creek, where a government settlement had been established. This country is the traditional land of the Gurindji Aboriginal people. Despite relocation, Lorna Fencer retained her cultural identity through ceremony, story telling and painting her art. Lorna's work depicts the bush foods of her country originating from Dreaming stories taught to her involving the travels of the Napurrula and Nakamarra skin(or kinship) and some Dreamings from her father's country of Wapuurtarli. Her main Dreamings are about the gathering and growth of bush foods such as the Yarla (Yam), Wapirti and Marlujarra. These Dreamings entitle her to paint subjects such as the bush yam (sweet potato), "ngalatji" (little white flower), bush tomato, berry, caterpillar (luju), wallaby, onion, water and particular mens' stories including boomerangs. Lorna has developed her own distinctive personal style of vivid colors and swirling designs based on the various bush food and other Dreamings. Lorna does not paint in a local classical dot painting style but instead produces works of a more modernist's exuberance and depth. She painted initially with the Warnayaka Art Centre in Lajamanu, and then with major commercial galleries in Australia. In her later years, her work has become increasingly free, abstract and sensual.

In 2007, Lorna was named as one of the 50 most collectible artist by Australian Art Collector Magazine.