Sandhills at Mina Mina, 1999
This work was painted by Dorothy not long after returning from her ‘back to country’ trip with her aunties to instruct her with the songs and dances associated with her ‘borning country’ of Mina Mina — that Dorothy had left in the early 1960’s after having lived a fully traditional nomadic life until then. Dorothy’s work flourished after this trip, as she experimented with many different styles in direct response to the emotion of travelling through the physicality and spirituality of her country, inherited through patrilineal lineage.
Here Napangardi paints the endless sand hills that lead into her country coming from the east to west. They shift and move with the wind and finding access to cross takes knowledge and constant observation.
Dorothy was a keen observer of the landscape and her ‘country’. She was not afraid to try some new ideas and in this work, she experimented with depicting sandhills shifting across the landscape.
Central Australia is sand country. A landscape always moving, a shifting sea of sand dunes, cloaking and revealing, sculptured by winds, ephemeral in nature. Sand has a significant presence and is a subject constantly found in the artwork of Dorothy Napangardi. Her keen and intimate knowledge of her country finds her experimenting on how to present it in her works.
Source: Honouring and Remembering the Art and Life of Dorothy Napangardi 1987-2013
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.