Born: 1952 Mt Doreen Station, west of Yuendumu, 290km NW of Alice Springs, NT
Country: Mina Mina
Region: Tanami Desert NT
Margaret grew up ‘bush’ with no exposure to white man until her family moved to settlements in Papunya and later to Yuendumu. In 1978 she participated with other Yuendumu women learning the art of batik-making and started painting in the late 1980s for Warlukurlangu Artists. Her late father Paddy Japanangka Lewis taught Margaret painting and; in 2007, she started painting on a regular basis. Margaret loves to go hunting for bush tucker, especially bush potato, bush berries, bush banana and goanna.
Since 2009, this highly versatile, mid-career artist has been painting Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Dreaming) related to country located far west of Yuendumu on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts. These paintings depict large groups of ancestral women of all ages travelling through the country, dancing and performing ceremonies, creating the country. Her series Rockhole and Soakages represents the movement of water and rain after storms in and around Mina Mina, a salt lake expanse. Other features of this country are claypan soakages and sandhills. Her artworks are very depictive of art from the Yuendumu area.
Margaret comes from a family of famous Indigenous artists. Her sisters Dorothy (Robinson) Napangardi and Judy (Watson) Napangardi (both deceased) have demonstrated incredible skill and consistency in their work for over twenty-five years and are internationally respected. Judy used a vibrant range of colours to create energetic works. Margaret still draws on elements of the refined dot work of Dorothy. Margaret’s works are held in private and public collections throughout Australia.