Born: Mt Doreen Station, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Warlpiri
COMMUNITY: Yuendumu, NT
Margaret Lewis Napangardi comes from a family of esteemed artists. She is the daughter of revered artist and senior lawman, Paddy Lewis Japanangka (deceased) and her sister is the famous Dorothy Napangardi (deceased). Her skin sisters are Maggie Watson Napangardi (deceased) and Judy Watson Napangardi (deceased).
Margaret was born in the mid 1950s on Mt Doreen Station, northwest of Alice Springs in the Simpson Desert. Whilst Margaret has little 'formal' schooling, she is well versed in the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives and has a deep knowledge of her country. Her father was also a senior law-giver. Margaret grew up 'bush' with no exposure to white man until her family moved to the Yuendumu settlement.
Margaret and her family lived and moved around Mina Mina country, which is the site of an important rock hole and there are many Dreaming stories associated with this country. Margaret is one of around 3,000 Warlpiri speakers who live in or are originally from the Tanami Desert region of Central Australia.
Margaret is a highly skilled and versatile artist. In 1978 Margaret participated with other Yuendemu women in learning the art of Batik-making. Since that time Margaret's work has evolved into several unique styles. Her paintings depict the stories associated with her country Janyinki and Mina Mina Dreaming, west of Yuendumu. Margaret has been exposed to painting since she was a child and her artworks are very depictive of art from the Yuendumu area; adventurous combinations of strong vibrant colours and microscopic dots. Her paintings depict women's stories and stories relating to her country.
Margaret has exhibited extensively throughout Australia and has featured in exhibitions overseas.