Judy Napangardi Watson

Judy Watson was born at Yarungkanji, Mt. Doreen Station around 1925, at the time when many Warlpiri and other Central and Westem Desert Peoples were living a traditional nomadic life. With her family, Judy made many trips on foot to her country and lived for long periods at Mina Mina and Yingipurlangu, her ancestral country on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts.

These places are rich in bush tucker such as wanakiji, bush plums, yakajirri, bush tomatoes, and wardapi, sand goanna. Judy still frequently goes hunting in the country west of Yuendumu, near her homelands. She was taught painting by her elder sister, Maggie Napangardi Watson and alongside her at Warlukurlangu artists she was developing her own unique style for a number of years.

Though a very tiny woman Judy has had ten children, three of whom she has outlived. She is a woman of incredible energy. This is transmitted to her work too through her dynamic use of colour, and energetic dragged dotting style. She is at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains strong kurruwani, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in her culture.

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