Leigh Namponan was born in 1965 in Cairns and raised in Aurukun. He spent a lot of his childhood at an outstation south of Aurukun in his family’s country.
Leigh is the second eldest of eight children born to Angus Namponan and Chrissie Peemuggina.
Leigh 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).
Leigh’s totems on 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.
Leigh 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.
Leigh’s mother’s country is Aayk and her language being Wik-Ngathan.
Leigh’s father, Anagus Namponan was prominent Wik carver in Aurukun. Most of his sons have followed in his footsteps. Leigh’s brothers, Garry, Lex, Leigh, Bevan and Leo are established and emerging carvers and form an important core of artists within the Wik and Kugu Arts Centre.
Leigh works across a range of media including carving, painting, ceramics and printmaking. “I like doing art because it helps me to learn about culture more and show others how we make art here in Aurukun”.