c.1925 - 2011
Born: Yuendumu/Nyirripi Region, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Warlpiri
COMMUNITY: Nyirripi, NT
Paddy Japanangka Lewis was born circa 1925, in the bush around Yuendumu/Nyirripi.
Living a nomadic life as hunter-gatherers, his extended Warlpiri family would have travelled vast distances across desert country, showing Paddy his sites and teaching him the traditional ways of his country.
Paddy was a senior law man who lived and died in Nyirripi, an Aboriginal community 460 km northwest of Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory. He is the father of Dorothy Napangardi, the celebrated Aboriginal artist and Margaret Lewis Napangardi, also a gifted artist. He was a painter with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation in Yuendumu from 1999 until his death in 2011. He mainly painted his Mina Mina Jukurrpa, Dreamings associated with his country Mina Mina, which is a long way west of Yuendumu. The area is significant to the custodians of the Jukurrpa that created it - Japangardi/Japanangka men and Napangardi/Napanangka women.
The multi-talented Paddy was also a performer; in 1999 he was in a short feature film called Marluku Wirlinyi: The Kangaroo Hunters, a kangaroo-hunting tale that takes place in both the Dreamtime and the present day.
Biography Courtesy of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation