In this intense painting titled Salt, 2000 the artist has painted a ‘salt maze’ using an ochre brown background. It is when you look at the photo below looking down at the salt lake from the surrounding brown sandhills, you realise this work could easily be titled “Standing on sandhill looking down at salt lake” (a salt lake that is probably the size of a small country in Europe!). There are many salt lakes in Dorothy’s country.
When it’s filled with water, there are so many waterbirds, shells, sea animals there hovering around it. Like seagulls and the seabirds, kestrels and things like that. It’s not really an inland sea but I can understand why non-indigenous people might describe it that way, think about it that way.
Maybe that’s why Dorothy thinks of an ‘inland sea’ — because that’s what it looks like, in a kind of a way, although it’s a lake, a lake that’s dry most of the time.
Source: Jeannie Herbert Nungarrayi (discussing Dorothy Napangardi’s Dreaming — Kana-kurlangu), Dancing Up Country, the art of Dorothy Napangardi, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney NSW Australia.
Some of Dorothy’s other works depict the “inland sea”. A similar work to this ‘Salt’ is in the Kerry Stokes collection, Perth and appears in the publication Dancing Up Country, the art of Dorothy Napangardi by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Salt Lakes of Mina Mina
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.