Paddy Japaljarri Stewart was from Mungapunju, just south of Yuendumu. When he was a young man he was a station worker at Mt Allen, Mt Dennison and up the top end. He worked as a chef in Papunya, hence his nickname ‘Cookie’. Cookie worked at the Yuendumu school teaching young kids, both kardiya and yapa (non aboriginal and aboriginal). He taught painting, jukurrpa (dreaming), tracking (dingo, kangaroo, goanna etc…), how to make wax for the sand painting, dancing, making boomerangs and many other important culture traditions. Each day Paddy drove the school bus that collected the kids. He was also involved in the council and in Night Patrol. He was previously the chairman for the Warlukurlangu Artists Committee, and painted regularly including working on the Yuendumu School Doors.
In 1988 Paddy Stewart was selected by The Power Gallery, Sydney University to travel to Paris with five other Warlpiri men from Yuendumu to create a ground painting installation at the exhibition ‘Magiciens de la Terre’ at the Centre Georges Pompidou. The trip took place in May 1989 and the painting was received with world wide acclaim.
Paddy Japaljarri Stewart exhibited artwork throughout Australia & around the world; including exhibitions in France, USA, Germany, UK, French Polynesia & Amsterdam. Paddy Japaljarri Stewart is featured in the collections of Major Art Institutions in Australia and around the world.