Betsy Lewis Napangardi

Betsy, born circa 1938- February 2008 at Kunajarryi, west of Yuendumu, in the bush before there was hospitals in the region. She moved to Mt. Doreen Station with her family when she was quite young, and was bought up by Paddy Japanangka Lewis. She went to school in Yuendumu and has lived there ever since, with sojourns in Nyirripi, a neighbouring community. She started painting for Warlukurlangu artists since 1968 and has participated in a large number of group exhibitions and one jointly with her sister Judy Watson.
Betsy comes from a long dynasty of artists, her other sisters are Margaret Lewis & Dorothy Napangardi.
She depicts stories from her traditional country at Mina Mina with very bright & textured surfaces.
She is 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 her culture. Betsy has developed her unique controlled style of painting using colour and design to depict her main dreaming story ‘Mina Mina’ her country.
More than just a depiction of story, the artist has used her Jukurrpa (dreaming) as a means to experiment and evolve technically. She creates an illusion of movement like dancing and the digging or use of digging sticks (karlangu) to obtain edible mushrooms and other bush foods (Jinti parnta) for ceremonies.
Selected exhibitions: 1999 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney; 2004 Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Selected collections: Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs