Jorna Newberry is a Pitjantjatjara artist who was born around 1959 in Angus Downs. She currently splits her time between living a traditional Indigenous life in Warakuna and living a modern life with her family in Alice Springs.
Tommy Watson is her uncle and has been a tremendous influence on her work, teaching her to paint in a multi-layered abstract way, so to maintain the secrecy of important culture matters.
Jorna initially started to paint in the mid 1990’s at Warakuna. Her paintings refer to the country of Irrunytju in the Western desert and the significant places, traditionally of spiritual knowledge and the ancestral stories, which are imbedded in the land.
One theme in her work is the portrayal of Tjukurpa - the wind dreaming – which is a story of her mother’s country. It is a large stretch of sand where people go for ceremonial rites and where the winds created by the wind ceremony cool the air, making it easier for people to hunt.
Jorna’s work is extremely intricate and contains lots of movement, which is aided by linear dotted flows and a subtle colour palette.