Yulyurlu Lorna Fencer Napurrurla, Water Dreaming 1999, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas 120 x 120 cm. Collection Markus Spazzapan and Suzane Cox.
A new exhibition is set to celebrate the work of desert artist Yulyurlu Lorna Fencer Napurrurla, highlighting her importance as a pioneer and master painter in the broader framework of the central desert artist movement.
The exhibition -Yulyurlu - opens at the ANU Drill Hall Gallery on Thursday 10 November at 6pm.
A strong and feisty Walpiri woman, Lorna hailed from the Lajamanu region of the Northern Territory. She painted enthusiastically and prolifically, and on one occasion painted on the cement slab of the veranda of her art centre when the arts advisors were not quick enough to meet her demands.
Curated by Margie West Yulyurlu celebrates the artist’s work and is the first major retrospective acknowledging her important contribution to Indigenous art. The exhibition features over sixty paintings on paper and canvas, prints and three-dimensional works, drawn from public institutions and private collections across Australia and overseas. These diverse works highlight how differently she approached the many stories about her ancestral lands, showing her innovative approach to traditional Warlpiri imagery.
Fencer had a confidence that enabled her to experiment within her people’s traditions. Some of her imagery derives from pictogram symbols for objects and bush foods while others refer to ceremonial body designs connected to a particular dreaming.
Lorna Napurrurla first started painting at the Warnayaka Art Centre in Lajamanu in 1986 and in 1997 won the Conrad Jupiters Art Prize at the Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland. She was invited to participate in the triennial John McCaughey Memorial Art Award and also was profiled in important curated group shows. Often likened to the great Emily Kngwarreye, her lifetime work revolved around the Yam complex upon her country in the Tanami desert.
The exhibition will be officially opened by Margie West, Emeritus Curator, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, on Thursday 10 November 2011 at 6pm at the Drill Hall Gallery. The exhibition will continue until 18 December 2011.
Yulyurlu: Lorna Fencer Napurrurla is being toured nationally by Artback NT: Arts Development and Touring in conjunction with Visions of Australia, Australia Council for the Arts and Northern Territory Government Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sports.