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Lorna Fencer Naparrula

Bush Potato Dreaming - 1997

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 122.0 cm
Price Realised: $13,420.00

MP #722


Warnayaka Art, NT Cat. No. 499-31
Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 7956
Ebes Collection, Vic

Artwork Size: 122 x 122 cm

Frame Size: 126 x 126 cm

Lorna Napurrula Fencer was a senior Warlpiri artist born at Yartulu Yartulu. She was custodian of the inherited lands of Yumurrpa in the Tanami Desert. She began painting in the mid 1980s and is now widely acknowledged as one of the great Warlpiri artists from Lajamanu. She was a custodian of the Dreamings associated with bush potato, caterpillar, bush onion, yam, bush tomato, bush plum, many different seeds, and, importantly, water.


This painting tells the Dreamtime story of two women of the Napurrula and Nakamarra skin groups who are searching the countryside for bush potatoes. Bush potatoes grow as roots underground, so the women must use the digging sticks to find them. The meandering lines represent the complex root system and branches of the bush potato plant.

The circle is the place where the women dig to retrieve the wild yams which are excellent bush tucker. Lorna was a senior custodian for this Dreaming, which took place at Duck Ponds in the Northern Territory, Australia. She has painted a large tract of country through which the Dreaming runs, some of which is under flood water.