Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ilkawerne, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas, Wood Carving
Subjects: Ngwerlp (Wild Tobacco), Alpar (Rat-tail Plant) Seed, Country
Considered a young Utopia artist, Laura has been painting since she was 19 years old and paints the traditional stories belonging to her country, Ilkawerne. Two main stories are the Ngkwerlp (Wild Tobacco) and the Alpar (Rat-tail plant seed) where Laura usually depicts these through fine dot work and traditional symbols when representing women collecting them. Laura loves using different colours for her paintings just like her sisters Bronwyn and Violet who paint a similar style. Laura's mother, Doreen Payne, and father, Harold Payne, are also artists, so it is no surprise that Laura began to paint at an early age and enjoys the social environment in doing so.
Laura resides in the Utopia region with her husband, son and family, after spending a couple of years in Alice Springs being schooled at Yirara College.
Laura also enjoys dabbling in crude wooden carving and stringing various native seeds together to make necklaces.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
Laura paints the story of the wild tobacco or pituri (Nicotiana spp.). In Laura's language it is called Ngkwerlp. This herb has soft leaves and creamy white, trumpet shaped flowers with two-valved seed capsules. Occurring naturally in Central Australia, it is found plentiful in Laura's home in the Utopia Region, north east of Alice Springs. The leaf of the plant is picked and chewed by the aboriginal people and can also be used for medicinal purposes. In the olden days, and in some areas today, the seeds would be collected and replanted by the aboriginal people.