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.