Salt on Mina Mina (2008)
In this subtle example of Salt on Mina Mina, the artist depicts her custodial country, located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert, north of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. In this work, the artist has experimented with a midnight blue background to represent the night sky and was a prelude to a major work called Mina Mina and Colour of Night Sky, 2008.
This delicate works with its shifting movement of white dots against the night sky has many levels to it, from the wind swept tracks in the sand and the movement of sandhills, to the receding water as it soaks into the ground, leaving behind crustations of salt.
Mina Mina is a major women’s ceremonial site. It is here 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. Performing rituals of song and dance, they proceed east, to the place known as Jankinyi. Today, a large belt of desert oak trees (Allocasuarina decaisneana) now stand where these digging sticks once were.
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.