Sandhills. Dorothy Napangardi.
Dorothy Napangardi


44.6 x 59 cm     
Numbered 5/50

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



Item #3152


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