Jorna Nelson - Australian Aboriginal Artist
Jorna Nelson (1930-2011) Jorna Nelson was born c. 1928/1932 near Mt Doreen, west of Yuendumu. A Warlpiri speaker, Jorna lived in both Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia and sometimes in Nyirripi, an Aboriginal community 160 kms further north-west of Yuendumu. Mt Doreen is located between Nyirripi and Yuendumu. As a young girl Jorna would have lived a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle with her parents, travelling across desert country and learning all about the country in the traditional way. 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 would have settled in the town. Jorna began painting in 1987. She painted her mother and father’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia. Jorna generally painted stories about sacred sites or about animals and plants which are commonly found in the country surrounding this community. Food and bush tucker are still regularly hunted and collected today and Jorna loved to go out hunting with her family and friends. They would go hunting for goanna, kangarro, snakes, and witchetty grubs as well as bush tucker, such as native currants, bush potato and bush banana.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
November 1990 Hogarth Gallery of Dreams, Sydney.
September 1991 Darwin Performing Arts Centre, Darwin
November 1991 Hogarth Gallery of Dreams, Sydney
February 1995 Cultureel Centrum Berchem, Antwerp
April 1995 Kloosterkazerne, Breda
December 1995 INMA Foundation Amsterdam
January 2000 World Baptist Conference, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Melbourne
June 2002 Chapman Gallery Canberra
May 2003 ‘Yimi Pirrijirdi – Strong Stories’ Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne
July 2003 Aboriginal Art, January Murphy Gallery, Brisbane
August 2003 ‘Desert Mob’ Araluen Center, Alice Springs
October 2003 Kurruwarri Wirijarlu – Big Story’ Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
February 2004 ‘Painting Country’, Thornquest Gallery, Queensland
February 2004 Jeffrey Moose Gallery Seattle Washington USA
February 2004 ‘WAAA Collection’ Flinders Museum, Adelaide, SA
March 2004 ‘Dreaming Stories” Indigenart, Perth
February 2005 ‘WAAA Collection’ Flinders Museum, Adelaide, SA
April 2005 ‘Warlukurlangu Collection’, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
April 2005 Jukurrpa Wiri ‘Important Dreaming Stories’ Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
June 2005 Group Show, Alison Kelly Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
July 2005 Recent Works’, Short Street Gallery, Broome, Western Australia
November 2005 Warlukurlangu Artists 20 Year Anniversary Exhibition, Japingka Gallery, Perth,
January 2006 Open Doors, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht
February 2007 Emerging, Artists from Nyirrpi, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney, NSW
July 2007 Desert Dreamings: earth + water, Artitja Fine Art, Perth, WA

COLLECTIONS
Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Australian Museum Sydney
Flinders University Art Museum, Melbourne
Gordon Darling Foundation, Canberra
South Australian Museum

BIBLIOGRAPHIES
1998 Morphy, H. ‘Aboriginal Art’ Phaidon Press Limited, London
1999 Morphy, H. and Boles, M.S. (eds.) ‘Art from the land’ University of Virginia Press, Virginia, U.S.A
Jorna Nelson - Australian Aboriginal Artist
Jorna Nelson (1930-2011) Jorna Nelson was born c. 1928/1932 near Mt Doreen, west of Yuendumu. A Warlpiri speaker, Jorna lived in both Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia and sometimes in Nyirripi, an Aboriginal community 160 kms further north-west of Yuendumu. Mt Doreen is located between Nyirripi and Yuendumu. As a young girl Jorna would have lived a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle with her parents, travelling across desert country and learning all about...
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