Artist Profile

L. Yukenbarri

c. 1934 - 2003




Lucy was a respected senior custodian with a vast knowledge of the waterholes in the Great Sandy Desert. She walked into the Balgo mission with her family. Once at the mission, she helped make the bread and later began painting. Lucy held many ceremonial responsibilities in the keeping of traditional Law.

Lucy began painting in 1989. Her early works followed standard Balgo methods of forming lines by means of rows of dotting and of outlining icons in a similar way. A quietly creative artist, she then moved to a technique using single colour fields of dotting, later going on to a next step - painting her dots so closely together that they converged, creating dense masses of pigment on the surface of the canvas. This, together with her exploration of the visual possibilities of black icons for waterholes and soakwaters and of dark green and blue, gave her work a distinctive style, producing effects unique in desert Aboriginal art. As a result, her work became highly sought-after.

Collections: Araluen Centre, Alice Springs; ArtBank; Berndt Museum; Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, USA; NGA; NGV; Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra.