Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa (Women's Dreaming), 2007
Before painting a large major work, Dorothy Napangardi would carefully consider what she wanted to achieve, and she would create preparatory ‘esquisses’ (sketches). Whilst these works, preceded and usually lead up to a major work, these ‘esquisses’ were of real interest and became works in their own right.
In this artwork the artist has created a striking yellow ochre, white on black designs, depicting the ancestral women dancing across the country of Mina Mina across the terrain, around the soakages of Mina Mina and the crustations that form when rainwater recedes; through the spinifex clumps and over the sand hills.
Belonging to women is the literal translation of the title Karntakurlangu (Karnta – means women kurlangu – means “belonging”).
During the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) 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 that had emerged from the ground from the desert oak trees (Allocasuarina decaisneana) which continue to grow today. They then proceeded east, performing rituals of song and dance, to the place known as Jankinyi.
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.
This work is featured on page 38 in the monograph: Honouring and Remembering the Art and Life of Dorothy Napangardi, 1987-2013
Extract from publication: include Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa, 2007 - Cat 13180DN (The Story of Mina Mina | page 38)
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.