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Mary Napangardi Gallagher was born in Napperby, a homestead 120 km from Papunya.
When she was a young adult she moved with her family to Yuendumu. She met and married her husband in Yuendumu and later moved to Nyirripi to bring up her five children Ben, Duncan, Richard, Eldy and Rea, and several grandchildren.
Mary and her grown-up children still live in Nyirripi, a remote Aboriginal community 160 km north-west of Yuendumu.
Mary has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2006. Yuendumu is also a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. The art centre staff regularly visit Nyirripi to collect finished work and drop off canvas, paint and brushes for the artists.
Mary paints her father’s Jukurrpa, Dreamings which relate to Pikilyi Jukurrpa (Vaughan Springs) a large and important waterhole; and Janmarda Jukurrpa (Bush Onion Dreaming). Mary remembers playing in this area as a child, while collecting bush tucker with her family. The Jukurrpa (dreaming) at Napperby belongs to all Napangardi, Napanangka, Japangardi and Japanangka and has been passed down for millennia.
When Mary is not painting she likes to go hunting with her family for goanna and bush tucker.