Judy Watson Napangardi

Judy Watson Napangardi

Date of Birth: c. 1925   d. 2016

Region: Tanami Desert

Language: Warlpiri

Judy Watson Napangardi was born around 1925 at Yarungkanji, Mt. Doreen Station.  Around this time many Central Desert and Warlpiri people were living a traditional nomadic life.  Judy was raised in this traditional way living for long periods at Mina Mina and Yigipurlangu, her ancestral county on the border of the Tanami and the Gibson Desert.

Judy began painting in 1986.  Originally taught by her sister Maggie Napangardi Watson she painted along Warlukurlangu artists for many years.  Her pieces depict stories from the traditional country of her homelands at Mina Mina.  These include the Honey Ant, Women, Kanakurlangu (Digging Stick), Snake Vine and Majardi (Hair-string belt).

Judy’s style uses vibrant colours to represent her land in striking depictions of the Dreamtime.  With a clever use of contrast she uses a dotting and dragging technique, which gives her paintings texture.  Although abstract in appearance, Judy’s paintings retain strong kurruwarri, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in her culture. Her combination of vivid colour, highly detailed works and high-level composition have led to widespread appreciation in the art world.

Sadly, Judy passed away in May 2016.

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