Sandhills of Mina Mina (2006)
In this painting, Dorothy Napangardi has captured in a wonderfully simple form, her sacred site of Mina Mina, of which she is custodial owner. Here she depicts the endless sandhills, where she and her aunts (Napanangkas) perform rituals of dance and song as part of their passing on of Jukurrpa.
Using white and ochre dots set against a black background Dorothy has created a wonderful harmonious linear movement, that tracks across the canvas. This work shares with us the viewer a spiritual essence that has no words, telling her story of things that cannot be voiced to the uninitiated, it’s beauty lies not what cannot be said, but what one feels…
The ceremonial site of Mina Mina is located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert, which lies north of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory of Australia. 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 belt of Desert Oak trees (Allocasuarina decaisneana) now stand where these digging sticks once were.
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.