This painting relate to Dorothy’s “conception site”. This is the location when her mother felt the first movement in her womb, which relates to the spirit of the land entering the body. Her father said that this was the Bilby Dreaming. We would smile and say the nature of the Bilby was like her soft personality.
After having spent two weeks with her father Paddy Japanangka Lewis on a back to country trip, along with her aunties (patrilineal Napanangka), the deep connection with country inspired Napangardi to paint the country as a traditional map showing the extended claypans, sand dunes, fresh water sources, ridges, and gathering spots. It is a physical and spiritual map.
Dorothy’s father had instructed her and taught her songs associated with that country. Whenever there was a special event coming up Dorothy would often paint classic iconography such as this. Painting gave her the quiet reflective time she loved, allowing her to become lost in her own world.
Often termed as Tingari paintings, after the post initiate teachings and primarily in the men’s domain, women are often given the rights through their father’s, who are very involved in the teaching and passing of the knowledge.
Events of the Tingari Cycle are secret/sacred and very few details are given.
This was one of two classic Tingari paintings that Napangardi painted whilst singing prior to attending a large gathering in Lajamanu, the top part of the extensive Warlpiri homelands in 2004.
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.