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Lena Yarinkura

Ankabadbirri, NT

"Ngalbenbe is the Sun. Beyond this yellow dwarf star is another entity, a larger star, the mother of Ngalbenbe. Each morning Ngalbenbe rises and travels through the sky and sets each night. She tells her mother, 'I am tired; can I rest for just one day and you will rise?' 'No, I am too powerful; I cannot shine. If I rise everything will die.'"

About the Artist

Lena Yarinkura

�No one taught me to use pandanus to make my animals. I have been teaching myself and I create new ways all the time. They are only my ideas � I pass my ideas on to my children and my grandchildren. It is important that I teach them, because one day I will be gone, and they will take my place.�

Lena Yarinkura is renowned for her ambitious and highly distinctive pandanus and paperbark fibre sculptures. Lena diverged from the more conventional fibre work of her contemporaries to become one of the first Arnhem Land women to work with fibre in a sculptural way.

She has developed her method using pandanus in much the same process as a dilly bag or fish trap might be made, beginning with the creation of a closed end. Lena skilfully expands and narrows her weaves to create bodies and forms of Ancestral Beings, plants and animals. She applies ochre pigment to the pandanus fibre to represent the details and textures of her chosen subject.

Lena�s work is celebrated across the world and is held in many public and private art collections. Lena has previously been a Telstra NATSIAA finalist 10 times, with 2022 being her 11th time selected.

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