Garry Namponan was born at the Presbyterian mission at Aurukun in 1960, on the western coast of Cape York Peninsula. He is the eldest of eight children born to Angus Namponan and Chrissie Peemuggina.

Garry belongs to the Apalech ceremonial group from his father’s country at Warpang, just inland from Cape Keerweer. His language groups are Wik-Alkan (father’s side) and Wik-Ngathan (mother’s side).

Garry’s totems from his father’s side include; the Kangaroo, Bush Rat, Freshwater Shark, Spear, Small Carpet Snake, Salmon, Knee and Single-barb Hardwood Spear. On his mother’s side the Freshwater Shark, Night Owl and Salmon.

Garry also shares totems associated with the Wik-Alkenh language group. His traditional homelands are south of Aurukun: Aayk, Kirk River and Warpang (near Cape Keer-Weer), Cape Keer-Weer which is the location of his family home.

Garry’s mother’s country is Aayk and her language being Wik-Ngathan.. 

Garry’s father, Angus Namponan was a prominent Wik carver in Aurukun.  Most of his sons have followed in his footsteps.  Garry’s  brothers, Lex, Leigh, Bevan and Leo are established and emerging carvers and form an important core of artists within the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre.

Garry works across a range of media including sculpture, printmaking, book illustration and painting.  His sculptures of camp dogs, dingos and birds are representations of figures of potent religious and spiritual significance. These archetypal characters stand for drama-filled creation narratives of personal importance.

Garry is especially famous for his beautiful Ku (Dogs).   

Garry studied art at the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, Northern Territory in the early 1980s and is one of the leading carvers of the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre at Aurukun. Since 2002, his work has been included in major national and international exhibitions and is represented in public and private collections.

He has worked on a number of government and public art commissions including Kank inum–Nink inum (Old way–New way) for the Commonwealth Government (2002); Country in mind: Five contemporary Aboriginal artists, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne (2007).In 2006 Garry participated in a printmaking workshop at the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.

 

 

Exhibition History

2018 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2018, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2019 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2019, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2017 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2017, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2016 Kang ka nam (old one) Ying ka nam (new one) Phi in (big one), Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD

2016 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2016, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2015 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2015, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2015 Ground, Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD

2014 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2014, Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal, Cairns QLD

2011 Century: Art In the First Decade, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane QLD

2009 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Australian Design Centre, Sydney NSW

2010 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Western Australian Museum, Perth WA

2012 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga NSW

2010 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT

2010 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston, TAS

2010 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Tandanya, Adelaide SA

2011 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns QLD

2011 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane QLD

2012 Menagerie: Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo NSW

2009 Aurukun Artists, Yuk Wiy Min (Wood and Other Things), Andrew Baker Gallery, Brisbane QLD

2008 Aurukun Sculpture, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne VIC

2009 Aurukun New Works, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne VIC

2007 Puulway, Wik & Kugu Totems by the artists of Aurukun, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne VIC

2009 Ina’Ngeen: Sculptures and Painting from Aurukun, Cooee Art Gallery, Sydney NSW

2013 CIAF Presents 2013 @ Canopy Artspace, Canopy Artspace, Cairns QLD

2012 From Cape to Cove, Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth WA

2011 Aurukun: New Paintings and Sculptures, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney NSW

2006 Imagine… the creativity shaping our culture,, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne VIC

2003 Story Place: Indigenous Art of Cape York and the Rainforest, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura VIC

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Riddoch Gallery, Mt Gambier: SA

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Murray Bridge Regional Art Gallery, Murray Bridge SA

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery, Port Pirie SA

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Walter Nicholls Memorial, Port Lincoln SA

2005 Native Title Business, Contemporary Indigenous Art (Touring Exhibition), Tandanya, Adelaide SA

2010 Before Time Today: Reinventing Tradition in Aurukun Aboriginal Art , The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane QLD

2006 Carved from the Cape – Indigenous Sculpture from the Cape York Peninsula, Australian Art Resources, Melbourne VIC

2004 Artists from Aurukun: Wik Kaa’th Pii’tha – Wik Stories of our Dreams, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney NSW

2019 Sydney Contemporary 2019, Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks, Sydney NSW

2019 Salon des Refusés 2019, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Darwin NT

2014 My Country: Contemporary Art from Black Australia, curated by Bruce McLean, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

2013 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane QLD

2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville QLD

2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Toowoomba Regional Gallery, Toowoomba QLD

2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Caboolture Regional Art Gallery, Caboolture QLD

2019 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery and Museum, Gladstone QLD

2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Gympie Regional Gallery, Gympie QLD

2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Logan Art Gallery, Logan QLD

2017 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Redland Art Gallery, Redland QLD

2016 My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Queensland. Touring Exhibition, Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhamton QLD

2019 Shiver, a survey exhibition on Australian sharks 2019, Onespace Gallery, Brisbane

2020 Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Digital 2020, Online Exhibition due to COVID-19 restrictions

2020 Cairns Indigenous Art Fair 2020, Online Exhibition due to COVID-19 restrictions

2020 Ku', Songline of the Dog 2020, Chapman & Baileys Gallery, Melbourne