About The Artist
Region: Yuendumu, Alice Springs – Northern Territory
Language Group: Warlpiri
Born: – Mt Doreen Station C. 1935 -2016
Judy’s sister Maggie Napangardi Watson taught her to paint & both painted side by side at Warlukurlangu art centre for many years.
From this Judy went on to develop her own unique style and is now well renowned for this distinctive style.
Judy with her family especially after it had been raining made extensive trips on foot to her ancestral country “Mina Mina” and “Yingipurlangu” on the border of the Tanami and Gibson deserts and lived there for long periods of time.
One can understand how relevant the terrain of “Mina Mina” is to Judy as most of her art depicts this ancestral country.
Judy Watson Napangardi was born in approximately 1925 at Yarungkanji (Mount Doreen Station) within the area of the Yuendumu Community in Central Australia. This was a period when many Warlpiri and other Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people still practiced their ancestral customs and way of life, which consisted of regular long journeys across the desert. All members of the family including Judy would travel on foot throughout their traditional country boarding on the Tanami and Gibson Deserts. Her homeland is the country at Mina Mina and it’s via her art that she is able to illustrate the ancestral Dreaming stories affiliated with that area.
Judy’s painting career began in the 1980’s, being directed and educated in the finer points and methods of producing art by her sister, Maggie Watson Napangardi and both painted side by side at the Warlukurlangu art centre for many years.
A great portion of Judy’ s Dreaming/Stories centre around the landscape of Mina Mina with a particular focus on The Honey Ant, Women,Kanakurlangu (Digging Stick),Snake Vine, and Majardi (Hair string Belt). These traditional Dreaming are known to be front and centre of Judy’s paintings. One can understand how relevant the terrain of “Mina Mina” is to Judy as most of her art depicts her ancestral country. Judy’s artwork is easily identifiable having developed her own unique style by using strong bright colours and textured surfaces combined with extensive detail of a powerful structure which can be viewed as distinctly abstract. Judy is a highly respected artist that has made an outstanding contribution to the Indigenous Australian contemporary art movement. Many private and public collectors both nationally and internationally include Judy’s paintings in their collections. Sadly Judy passed away in 2016.