Stewart was born in 1951 at Doomadgee Mission in the Gulf of Carpenteria. He is a Garrwa man on his mother side. He grew up on Calvert Hills Station with his grandfather Yarriyarri. At nine years of age he went to work in stock camps and spent time droving throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory. In his late teens he worked on a cattle station in Western Australia and moved back to Queensland four years later for further work on cattle stations. He settled in Borroloola in 1972 after marrying Yanyuwa/Garrwa woman Nancy McDinny. He worked on surrounding cattle stations Mallapunyah and Green Back before starting his own cattle business at Wandangula, Police Lagoon, in 1979. He currently lives at the nearby outstation, Sandridge, with Nancy.
Stewart started painting in early the 2000s after he stopped cattle work. He started painting landscapes from the Calvert Hills and Robinson regions, later developing an interest in painting social-history stories about droving and Aboriginal resistance fighters, who fought for their country during the period of colonisation in the Gulf. Stewart has exhibited in both Australian and overseas galleries, including Mossenson Gallery (Melbourne), The Cross Arts Project (Sydney), Karen Brown Gallery (Darwin) and Rebecca Hossack Gallery (London). Stewart’s paintings have also been selected for the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Art Awards five times.
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