Jorna Newberry is a Pitjantjatjara artist, was born around 1959 at Angus Downs. Jorna divides her time between Warakurna, Irrunytju 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. If she goes camping for several days she will hunt for kangaroo and goanna and collect bush tucker like berries, witchetty grubs and honey ants.
Jornas’ style is abstract and layered to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters. Working with her uncle Tommy Watson, she developed her own style. Jorna began painting in mid 1990′s at Warakurna, creating work for casual collectors. Later she joined the Irrunytju arts centre and started painting for this group. Over recent years she has worked closely alongside her legendary uncle, Tommy Watson. She follows his instruction to favour abstraction as a stylistic mode to ensure secrecy of important cultural matters, rather than taking the more figurative approach of the Papunya Tula artists. She says: Tommy has had a big influence on me. He teaches me to be respectful in the way I paint’.