Inland Sea, 2003
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.
Dorothy Napangardi created a series of works titled “Inland Sea”. This work is a strong interpretation of the salt incrustations on the claypans of Mina Mina, an important ceremonial Women’s Dreaming site of which the artist is a custodian.
It was here she lived a nomadic existence with her extended family until a very serious drought in the 1960’s meant that desert people were obliged to leave their traditional land to survive. It was many years before Napangardi could return and undertake the ceremonies that passed on knowledge.
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.