Lorna Fencer Napurrula

Born: 1920Lorna, australian aboriginal artist

People: Warlpiri

Language: Warlpiri

Area: Lajamunu

Lorna Fencer Napurrula, country situated near the Granites in the Tanami Desert, Northern Territory. The Yarla (Yam) Dreaming track originates from this region and travels north toward Lajamanu. She is a senior Warlpiri (language/tribal law group) woman. Today Lorna lives predominantly at Lajamanu.

Lorna is a skilled painter of decorative body designs for ceremonies.

Lorna initiated her rise in the art world by painting for the Warnayaka Art Centre, Northern Territory. In recent years, Lorna’s work has become increasingly extravagant, abstract and catching the attention of art collectors from around the world and giving her comparison with the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Lorna’s Dreamings include Yarla (Yam or Bush Potato), Wapirti and Marlujarra. These Dreamings entitle her to paint subjects such as the bush yam (sweet potato), “ngalatji” (little white flower), bush tomato, caterpillar, wallaby and certain mens stories including boomerangs.

Lorna typically paints with acrylics on primed Belgium linen.

Lorna’s style is extremely bold, free and abstract. She applies the paint in liberal quantities to the brush before touching down on the canvas and layering the colours one upon the next. Upon completion of the work, only the most public aspects of her Dreaming are revealed to the observer, the most intimate details are concealed.

Lorna’s artistic achievements have been recognised by her inclusion in the Murdoch Court at the National Gallery of Victoria and her invitation to participate in the triennial 1998 John McCaughey Memorial Art Prize. In 1997 Lorna was granted the Gold Coast City Art Award.


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

Artbank, Sydney

Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland

Gantner Myer Collection

Margaret Carnegie Collection

Laverty Collection, Sydney


1997, Winner, Gold Coast City Art Award;

Conrad Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast.

1998, John McCaughey Memorial Art Award;

Commissioned artist National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

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