Peggy Madij Griffiths
A senior Miriwoong artist and cultural custodian, Peggy Griffiths – Madij maintains both the ephemeral and the unchanging connections of Country. Through her arts practice she responds to her environment and her place within it. Her elegant yet powerful imagery documents the custodianship handed to her by her mother and grandfather.
Born in 1950 on her Country then Newry Station east of Kununurra, Griffiths grew up learning from her cultural leaders while working as a housemaid on the station. She experienced many of the tragedies affecting Kimberley Aboriginal people as a result of police and welfare. With deep green eyes revealing her mixed ancestry she narrowly escaped her own capture by being cleverly hidden by her mother. At sixteen Peggy married her promised husband, Mr A.Griffiths and began working alongside him at Waringarri Aboriginal Arts in 1985, carving and painting boab nuts and artefacts. She progressed to ochre painting on canvas and working with limited edition prints.
She is the first Indigenous artist to win the prestigious Fremantle Print Award in 1995. Today she is a highly respected elder and artist and was granted a Department of Culture and the Arts Fellowship to pursue her new interest in ceramics in 2018. More recently an installation of her work including ochre painting, ceramics and animation was exhibited as part of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s TARNANTHI 2019.