Sandhills at Mina Mina (2003)
With this striking work your eyes sweep across the canvas, as you follow the tracks of sandhills. Its white rhythmic undulating lines, interspersed with ochre brown and ochre yellow, that carries the stories and allude to the tracks of the artist’s and the women in her family.
Made up of two enormous soakage areas and endless sandhills, it is here Dorothy and her aunts (Napanangkas) perform rituals of dance and song as part of their passing on of Jukurrpa.
This work depicts a major 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. 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. They then proceeded east, performing rituals of song and dance, to the place known as Jankinyi. A large stand of Desert Oaks (Allocasuarina decaisneana) now grow where these digging sticks emerged from the ground.
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.