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Judy Watson Napangardi / Mina Mina Dreaming (3B)

123cm x 90cm Acrylic on Linen, 2013

SKU: 17340


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SKU: 17340 Category:

c. 1928 – 2016

Judy Watson was born in c.1925 at Yarungkanji, Mt. Doreen Station, at the time when many Warlpiri and other Central and Western Desert Peoples were living a traditional nomadic life.

With her family Judy made many trips on foot back to 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). Up until she passed away peacefully in 2016 Judy frequently went hunting in the country west of Yuendumu, near her homelands.

Judy was taught painting by her elder sister, Maggie Napangardi Watson. She painted alongside her at Warlukurlangu artists for a number of years, developing her own unique style. Though a very tiny woman, Judy had ten children, two of whom she outlived. She was a woman of incredible energy, this was transmitted to her work through her dynamic use of colour and the energetic “dragged dotting” style and she developed a popular and distinctive style of contrasting lines of colour with richly textured surfaces.

Judy was at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa (Dreamings) by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains strong kurruwarri, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in her culture. Judy’s Dreamings are Ngarlyipi (Snake Vine), Karnta (Woman), Mina Mina, and Kanakurlangu.

In 2007 she was selected as one of the 50 most collectable artists by Australian Art Collector.


Selected Commissions
• Janganpa / Mawurrji Jukurrpa (Native Possum & Mawurrji Dreaming)
11m x1m large collaborative canvas for the foyer of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra

Selected Collections
• Art Gallery of New South Wales
• Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands
• Gordon Darling Foundation, ACT
• Flinders University Art Museum, SA
• National Gallery of Australia
• National Gallery of Victoria
• South Australian Museum, SA
• Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Selected Solo Exhibitions

• Judy Napangardi Watson, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne

• Karnta Jukurrpa, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne

• Judy Napangardi Watson, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions


• Yilpinji, Love, Magic and Ceremony, Galerie DAD, Mantes-la-Jolie, France

• New Paintings by Judy Napangardi Watson And Betsy Napangardi Lewis, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
• Colour Power – Aboriginal Art Post 1984, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
• Australian Aboriginal Art Collector’s Exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
• Explained, A closer look at Aboriginal Art, Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

• Colours of Mina Mina, Raft Artspace, Darwin
• 20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

• Warlukurlangu Artists, Jeffrey Moose Gallery, USA
• New Works from Warlukurlangu, Indigenart, Perth
• Warlukurlangu Artists Cooperative of Yuendumu One Union Square Lobby, Seattle, USA
• New Paintings from Yuendumu, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
• Warlukurlangu Collection Parliament House, Canberra

• Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle
• Kurawari, Desart Gallery, Sydney
• Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
• Marking the Paper, Desart Gallery, Sydney
• Journey to the North West, Palya Art, Sydney

• International Women’s Day Exhibition, Alice Springs
• Mina Mina, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney

• Art Gallery Culture Store, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
• A Thousand Journeys, Tin Shed Gallery, University of Sydney
• Kurrawarri – Kirli, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

• Hogarth Gallery, Sydney

• SOFA, Miami and Chicago, U.S.A
• Bellas Gallery, Brisbane

• Armstrong Gallery, Florida
• Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria
• Echoes of the Dreamtime, Osaka, Japan

• Adelaide Town Hall, (in association with The Pacific Arts Symposium)
• Northern Territory Art Award, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
• Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
• CINAFE (Chicago International New Art Forms Exposition), U.S.A.

• The Long Gallery, Hobart
• Hogarth Gallery of Dreams, Sydney

• Darwin Performing Arts Centre, Darwin

• I.U.N.C. (showing at Hilton Hotel), Perth
• Women’s Exhibition, The Women’s Gallery, Melbourne

The painting is describing Mina Mina which is located far to the west of Yuendumu. It is very significant to Napangardi and Napanangka women. They are the custodians of the Jukurrpa that created the area. The Jukurrpa story tells of the expedition of a group of women who travelled to the east gathering food, collecting Ngalyipi (snake vine) and performing ceremonies as they travelled.

The women began their journey at Mina Mina where Karla-ngu (digging sticks) emerged from the ground. They took these implements and travelled east creating Janyinki and other sites. Eventually their journey took them beyond Warlpiri country. The central motif in this painting is the Ngalyipi vine, which grows up the trunks and limbs of the Kurrkara (Desert Oak, ) trees. Ngalyipi is a vine sacred to Napangardi and Napanangka women and has many uses, including as a ceremonial wrap, as a strap to carry Parrajas (wooden bowls) laden with bush tucker and as a tourniquet for headaches.

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