Mildred (Megan) Nyunkiya LyonsPapulankutja Artists
Mildred was one of seven siblings, six daughters – Mamie, Joy, Paula, Susan and Angela and one son Darryl. Her parents were both Ngaanyatjarra with her mother born in Wannan and her father in Yanka, north of Blackstone. Her mother’s maiden name was Mitchell.
Mildred and her siblings were either born in Kalgoorlie, Wingellina (Irrunytju) or Warburton. They travelled on foot ‘up and down this country’, sourcing their food from the bush along the way. They lived for periods of time in different remote communities including Warburton and Blackstone.
During her childhood her family travelled throughout the Ngaanyatjara and Anangu Pitjantjatjarra, Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands visiting relatives and maintaining cultural obligations. Her mother, Edith Lyons, (a highly regarded painter) taught Mildred Ngaanyatjarra heritage, law and culture. She attended school in Warburton and Mantamaru before moving to Blackstone school in Papulankutja where she learnt to speak English.
When Mildred was young she loved to go walking with the other girls in the bush looking for honey ants and yellow berries. She loved being out bush, just walking around her country. Her mother was the same. She would walk her way across country, frightened of cars.
Mildred has 3 children, two of which live in Blackstone with her.
Mildred began painting after spending time in the Papulankutja Arts Centre as an artsworker, helping to take photos of paintings and keep the art centre clean when she was younger.
Mildred paints with her sisters Joy and Paula Lyons, and occasionally Angela as well. Often at least 3 of the Lyons sisters are painting away at the art centre together.