As with all of this artist’s works, this painting revolves around the sacred site of Mina Mina, the land in the remote Tanami Desert of which Dorothy is custodial owner. Made up of two enormous soakage areas and endless sandhills, here Dorothy and her aunts (Napanangkas) perform rituals of dance and song as part of their passing on of Jukurrpa.
Using dots set against a white background Dorothy has created an artwork of movement as it gathers and tracks across the canvas. Like the sandhills in constant flux around and through the artist’s country so too does this painting move, backwards and forwards, the rippling effect produced so like that of the wind’s tracks in the sand.
This work depicts a major women’s ceremonial site known as Mina Mina, the artist’s custodial country, located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert, north of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. 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 stand of Desert Oaks (Allocasuarina decaisneana) now grow where these digging sticks emerged from the ground.
One of the leading artists of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement, Napangardi’s work is highly sought after by both collectors and curators worldwide. Her paintings and prints have been widely exhibited and are in all national collections within Australia and in major collections worldwide including most recently the MET, New York. Napangardi had the honour of being the 2nd indigenous artist to be given a solo survey exhibition at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), Sydney that traced 11 years of her painting career in 1991.