Judy Napangardi Watson was born at Yarungkanji, Mt Doreen Station, around 1935, at the time when many Warlpiri and other Central Desert Aboriginal people were living a traditional nomadic lifestyle. With her family Judy Napangardi 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 Watson still frequently goes hunting in the country west of Yuendumu, near her homelands.
Judy Napangardi Watson was taught painting by her elder sister, famous Aboriginal artist Maggie Napangardi Watson. She painted alongside her at Warlukurlangu Art centre for a number of years, developing her own unique style.
Though a tiny woman Judy Watson has had ten children, and is a woman of great energy. This is transmitted to her work through her dynamic use of colour, and energetic ‘dragged dotting’ style. Judy Napangardi Watson has been at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains strong kurruwarri, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in Aboriginal culture.
Paintings by Judy Napangardi Watson have been regularly represented in exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-
2013 Artists at Nyirripi & Yuendumu
2012 Heirs and Successors
2009 Nyirripi and Yuendumu Artists
2008 Artists of Nyirripi & Yuendumu
2006 Warlpiri Artists of Yuendumu
1998 Kakarra Manu Kalarra – Warlpiri Artists
A selection of paintings by Judy Napangardi Watson is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.