44.6 x 59 cm
This print depicts a major women’s ceremonial site known as Mina Mina, the artist’s
custodial county located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert, north of Yuendumu in
the Northern Territory of Australia. During the Jukurrpa Ancestral women of the Napangardi
and Napanangka sub section groups (aunt / niece relationship, in which knowledge is
passed from one to the other) gathered to collect ceremonial digging sticks (Karlangu) that
had emerged from the ground. They then proceeded east, performing rituals of song and
dance, to the place known as Jankinyi. A large belt of trees (Casuarina Decaisneana) now
stand where these digging stick once were.
Topographically, the sacred site of Mina Mina is made up of two enormous soakage areas
that, rarely filled with water, exist as clay-pans. As water soaks into the ground small areas
of earth dry out and lift at the edges, becoming delineated by salt. In this striking design of
coloured dotting Dorothy depicts the crustations of salt stretching infinitely onward, etched
with the tracks of women as their paths stretch on, crossing and merging; telling their
stories. (courtesy Gallery Gondwana)
Dorothy Napangardi is considered to be Gallery Gondwana’s ‘most experimental artist’.
She was born in the early 1950s and is a Walpiri woman from Mina Mina, a significant
women’s site in a remote area of the Northern Territory located near Lake Mackay in the
Tanami Desert, north of Yuendumu.
Dorothy has been painting since 1987 and has won several major prizes including the 18th
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2001. Her work was honoured
with a major survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 2002.
Dorothy’s works reflect her strong cultural and ancestral ties to the land. With a focus on
the Women’s Jukurrpa (Dreaming), these works follow the long journeys of Women
Ancestors from Mina Mina. Moving away from traditional iconography, Dorothy has
created her own unique and innovative visual style to portray her country.
Dorothy Napangardi is internationally regarded as one of the leading exponents of the
contemporary Aboriginal art movement and has held numerous solo and group exhibitions
throughout Australia, the United States and Europe. She is represented in many
significant public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, state
galleries of Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, the Australia Council, and major
institution collections in the USA, Germany and the Netherlands.
Dorothy resides in Alice Springs where she paints full time in her own studio at Gallery