Margaret Napangardi Lewis Australian, Warlpiri, b. 1952
Margaret Napangardi Lewis was born at Mount Doreen Station, an extensive cattle breeding station about 55 km west of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. Margaret travelled around the country with her parents and went to school in Papunya then to the local school in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the daughter of Paddy Japanangka Lewis, a senior law man and artist. Margaret has two brothers, John and Willy and one sister Dorothy Napangardi Robertson, also a well-known artist working with Warlukurlangu Artists. Margaret is a Warlpiri woman who is now living in Nyirripi. She produced some paintings for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre in Yuendumu, between 1986 and 2001 when she was living in Yuendumu. She also participated in the Yuendumu Bark program coordinated by Peter Toyne from 1986 to 1988. While living in Yuendumu she worked in the kitchen and at the Art Centre.
She later moved to Nyirripi and it wasn’t until 2007 that she started painting on a regular basis. Her Dreamings are Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming); Ngalyipi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming); and wanakiji Jukurrpa (Bush Tomato Dreaming). Since 2009 Margaret has been painting Mina Mina Jukurrpa, Dreaming related to country located far west of Yuendumu on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Desert. She shares this country and dreaming with her ‘big sisters’ Betsy Napangardi Lewis and Judy Napangardi Watson. Mina Mina is a very important women’s dreaming site and has a long story in which a large group of ancestral women of all ages travel through the country dancing and performing ceremonies and creating the country as they go. When Margaret is not painting she loves to go hunting for bush tucker, especially bush potato, bush berries, bush banana and goanna.