Margaret Duncan was born in Ngukurr (Roper River Mission) in 1959, but grew up in nearby Urapunga. Her Aboriginal name is Bowngyii. Her mother’s family is Milwarapra (kangaroo people); they belong to country of Urapunga, Roper Bar and Ngukurr. Her father’s country is Elcho Island.
Margaret comes from a family who are all artists – her three brothers and two sisters are painters, weavers and carvers. When her third child Tasha was born with cerebral palsy she became her fulltime carer; they moved into Katherine when Tasha was 13 so she could continue school. Margaret used art as an escape; a way to keep strong and remember country. “When I was trapped in town, and couldn’t do the thing I really wanted to do (like fishing), I would sit down and do painting – imagining me inside that painting, being in country.”