Gisella Napljarri Dickson was born in 1991 in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 kms northwest of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She grew up in Yuendumu, first attending the local school, then Yirara College, a boarding school for indigenous students, in Alice Springs.
Gisella began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2004, when she was 14 years old. She was originally part of the art centre’s cultural maintenance program, held during the school holidays, and has continued ever since, to paint at the Centre with her family.
She paints her Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) – Wapurtali (Mt Theo); Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming); Ngalypi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming); Ngurlu Jukurrpa (Native Seed Dreaming); and lately Lukarrara Jukurrpa (Desert Fringe-rush Seed Dreaming). These stories relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it They have been passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia.
Gisella uses an unrestricted palette to depict her traditional iconography, at the same time developing a modern individualistic style, using pattern and design in a variety of contexts.