Sandhills of Mina Mina (2009)
This magnificent and monumental work showcases yet another development in the ever-evolving style of Dorothy Napangardi. With its beautiful lyricism, the artist uses a myriad of white and harmonious coloured dots, set against a midnight blue background that that gathers and disperses across the canvas, representing the movement of sand blown by the wind over the Sandhills that surround Mina Mina, her custodial country near Lake Mackay on the border of NT and WA.
In this artwork, Dorothy depicts a major sacred 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. Made up of two enormous soakage areas and endless sandhills, here Dorothy and her aunts (the Napangardi and Napanangka sub-section groups - aunt / niece relationship) perform rituals of dance and song (in which knowledge is passed from one to the other), as part of their passing on of Jukurrpa.
During the Jukurrpa, the Ancestral women gather 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 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.