Jorna Napurrurla Nelson
Jorna painted her mother and father’s Jukurrpa stories and Dreamings which relate directly to her country. These stories, as was the tradition were passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia. Her paintings were generally stories about sacred sites, animals and plants to be found in Country…
Region: Yuendumu, NT
DOB: c 1928 - 2011
Place of Birth: Mt Doreen (west of Yuendumu), NT
Art Centre: Warlukurlangu Artists, NT
Jorna Napurrurla Nelson was born circa 1928 near Mt Doreen, west of Yuendumu (a remote Aboriginal community about 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT, Australia). A Warlpiri speaker, Jorna lived in both Yuendumu and Nyirripi (located about 150 kms to the south-west of Yuendumu), where she was to pass away in 2011. Mt Doreen is located between Nyirripi and Yuendumu.
She married Paddy Japanangka Lewis, Dorothy Napangardi’s father when he became a widow in the 1990s.
As a young girl and her early years growing up, Jorna lived a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle with her parents, travelling and learning about the desert country.
In 1946 Yuendumu was established, in 1947 a Baptist mission was established there and by 1955, like many of the Warlpiri people, Jorna and her family settled in the town. Two sisters, Peggy Napurrurla Poulson and Lorna Napurrurla Nelson were also painters.
Jorna began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation in 1987. She painted her mother and father’s Jukurrpa stories and Dreamings which relate directly to her country. These include the landscape, plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories, as was the tradition were passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia. Her paintings were generally stories about sacred sites, animals and plants which are commonly found in the country surrounding this community.
Bush tucker are still regularly collected and hunted today and Jorna loved to go out hunting with her family and friends. They would go hunting for goanna, kangaroo, snakes, and witchetty grubs as well as other bush tucker, such as native currants, bush potato and bush banana.
Map of Central Australia (Northern Territory) with location of communities.
Map of Central Australia (Northern Territory) with location of communities, including Yuendumu (about 290 km north-west of Alice Springs) and Nyirripi (about 150 kms south-west of Yuendumu).
List of communities on this map include: Alice Springs, Ali Curung, Alpurrurulam, Ampilatwatja, Anatye, Anmatjere, Canteen Creek, Chilla Well, Engawala, Finke, Ghan, Haasts Bluff, Kaltukatjara, Kintore, Mereenie, Mutitjulu, Nyirripi, Papunya, Sandover, Tanami, Ti Tree, Wutunugurra, Willowra, Wilora, Yulara, Yuendumu
01 - 30 April 2018
Welcome to our Shining Forth - Colour Power Exhibition. This exhibition….. Proudly presenting the following artists Mitjili Napanangka Gibson, Geraldine Nowee, Judy Napangardi Watson, Pamela Napurrurla Walker and Linda Napurrurla Walker, Alma Nungarrayi Granites, Jorna Napurrurla Nelson,…
Artworks for sale
Looking to purchase works by this artist but can’t see what you’re looking for? We can source artworks for you.