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Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa, 1998

Artist: Dorothy Napangardi

Region: Central Desert

Medium/Type: Painting

Size: 122 x 61 cm
(Artwork can be rotated)

Catalogue Number: 2838DN

Status: Exhibition WA AUSTRALIA


This was one of the first paintings done after returning from her return to country trip in 1998 with her Napanangka aunties (father’s sisters) when she underwent ceremonies for her initiation to her traditional custodial land.

Dorothy was a keen observer of the seasons and how it affected the landscape. Her experimentation with rain saw her create a number of works that depicts light rain and heavy rainfall. In this work she uses blue-grey, interspersed with strokes of ochre colours of the landscape. With the fine dust often prevalent in the air of the arid region, when it does rain, the initial rainfall will often be laced with dust, collecting on the raindrops as they fall. Rainfall in the desert region.

As the rain falls across and onto ‘country’, the water tracks across the landscape, into rockholes, claypans and salt lakes. 

The painting works on two levels, as a look straight ahead at the falling rain, as it teems down onto the landscape and from an aerial perspective, the movement of the raindrops sweeping across the landscape.


Karntakurlangu is one of the most extensive and significant women’s Jukurrpa (Dreaming) belonging to the Warlpiri people of Central Australia. Through initiation into the Jukurrpa knowledge is imparted. Jukurrpa teaches the inseparability of oneself from ones environment that ensures for the Warlpiri people the perpetuation of life. 

Its’ rituals and ceremonies, the songs and dances, the icons and stories, convey vital information for not only the maintenance of cultural identity but also for the relationship of all things.


Dorothy Napangardi

Regions: Central Desert, Western Desert

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.

More about Dorothy Napangardi

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