59.6 x 44.8 cm
This limited edition etching 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.
To portray her country, Mina Mina, the artist has created a striking check-like design. This
print can be read like a map through which the women move; across the Terrain, around
the soakages of Mina Mina and its crustations of salt; through the Spinifex clumps and over
the sandhills. The artist’s fascination with rather rigid geometrics coupled with non-linear
movement created a push and pull effect, pulling the eye of the viewer up and down,
inwards and outwards, pushing it from one point to the next. It is her ability to keep the
viewer continually engaged whilst reading her work that sees Dorothy Napangardi receiving
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