Sylviana Napurrurla Briscoe was born in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community, 290 km north west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She grew up in Yuendumu, attending the local school and spending much of her time with family and friends in the surrounding country learning about her land, her culture and her law through story. She is the daughter of Vicki Napaljarri Dixon, who was born in 1969 at Laramba – also known as Napperby – a community locate 210 kms northwest of Alice Springs, and 170 kms south-east of Yuendamu. Laramba is the home to the Anmatyerr language group and where Sylviana’s mother lived before moving to Yuendumu.
Sylviana Napurrurla began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2022. She paints her Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa (Seed Dreaming) – Acacia tenuissima – and Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming) – Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her parents and grandparents and their parents before them for millennia. Sylviana Napurrurla has developed her own unique artistic style to depict her Jukurrpa, blending traditional motifs with a modern design to bring alive her Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa.