Lorna Napurrula Fencer (c1923- 2006) was a senior Warlpiri Aboriginal artist, born at Yartulu Yartulu, and custodian of inherited lands of Yumurrpa, situated near Chilla Well, south of the Granites Mine area in the Tanami Desert. In 1949 many of the Warlpiri people, including Lorna Napurrula were forcibly transported to the government settlement of Lajamanu at Hookers Creek, situated in the country of the Gurindji people, 250 miles to the north of their own country around Yuendumu. Napurrula nevertheless maintained and strengthened her cultural identity through ceremonial activity and art, and asserted her position as a prominent elder and teacher in the community.
The travels of Napurrula and Nakamarrra kinship or skin groups are the inspiration for Lorna Napurrula’s work, and she was a custodian of the Dreamings associated with bush potato (yarla), caterpillar (luju), bush onion, yam, bush tomato, bush plum, many different seeds, and (importantly) water. Lorna Napurrula Fencer began her painting career in the mid 1980s.
The passing of this major Aboriginal artist Lorna Napurrula Fencer in 2006 marked the end of a breathtaking flourish of artistic output in the seventh and eighth decades of the artist’s life. The artists is represented in the Australian National Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, other State Galleries and major private collections.
Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Lorna Napurrula Fencer over many years and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-
2012 The Colourists: Kudditji Kngwarreye & Lorna Napurrula Fencer
2012 Heirs and Successors
2008 Women’s Law
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2003 Lorna Napurrula Fencer –New Paintings
2002 Lorna Napurrula Fencer – Paintings from the Tanami Desert
2001 Little Gems
2000 Artists of Lajamanu, Tanami Desert
1999 Paintings from Lajamanu Community
A selection of paintings by Lorna Napurrula Fencer is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.
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