Jorna Newberry

Jorna Newberry is a Pitjantjatjara artist, was born around 1959 at Angus Downs. Jorna divides her time between Warakurna, lrrunytju and Alice Springs where she has family, living between the traditional culture of her indigenous background and a contemporary one.

When visiting her lands she regularly goes bush with the women of her community for sacred ceremony, which is important to her as she has two daughters and wants to pass this knowledge on to them. lf she goes camping for several days she will hunt for kangaroo and goanna and collect bush tucker like berries, witchetty grubs and honey ants.

Jorna’s style is abstract and layered to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters. Jorna began painting in mid 199O‘s at Warakurna and casually selling them to sudden collectors. Later she joined the lrrunytju arts centre. Then after it was that she worked closely alongside her legendary uncle, Tommy Watson.

She followed his instruction to favour abstraction as a stylistic mode to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters, rather than taking the more fi gurative approach of the Papunya Tula artists. She says: „Tommy has had a big infl uence on me. He teaches me to be respectful in the way I paint.”

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