Christopher Japangardi Poulson

Christopher Japangardi Poulson

Artworks

Biography

”I enjoy painting because these stories make me feel proud and I identify myself with them – they confirm who I am and what family groups I belong to.”
Christopher Japangardi Poulson was born in 1956 in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal settlement 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs. He attended his local school and then in 1968 went to Kormilda College in Darwin, an Aboriginal boarding school. When he finished school he trained to be an assistant teacher and studied Business Management and Administration with the Batchelor Institute, Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) at Batchelor, about 80 km south of Darwin. After he graduated from BIITE he studied Anthropology at the Australian National University (ANU). He was a member of the Pacific Region and in 1988 attended Papua New Guinea University in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea – “I decided to come back to my home land where I was born. I wanted to be with my people”. Christopher Japangardi returned to Yuendumu where he worked at the school for many years. In 1985, while working with the Education Department (Band 3 level) Christopher was a founding member of Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre in Yuendumu.
He then worked at the local Council office where he was a Council Committee member. He continues to be a member of the School Council. Over the years he worked as a manager and administrator for Community Development Employment Project (CDEP), the local work for the dole program. He is currently Administrative Officer III, Territory Housing Officer with the Northern Territory Government (local government and regional service).
He started painting with Warlukurlangu Artists in 1992. He paints his stories associated with his traditional country. “I started painting because it was a part of my life. I painted because my family told me a lot of stories about Dreamtime – my mother’s stories and my father’s stories.” These stories have been passed down from his mother and his father and his mother’s mothers and father’s fathers for millennia. “Through my traditional education they took me around my grandfather’s land and they taught me my traditional and cultural way of life.” My Grandfather’s dreaming is very important in my life because I have my skin name through my Grandfather. His name is Purdakarri Japagardi from Pikilyi Springs, Central Australia in NT, located about 180 km west of Yuendumu, about an hour and 15 minutes drive.” Pikilyi Springs is spring water country in the middle of Australia.
Christopher speaks Warlpiri Language and English language. He is married and has two children from a previous marriage. He is also a grandfather.