Dorothy Napangardi Paintings

Dorothy Napangardi - Warlpiri Artist, painted in Alice Springs, Mina Mina Dreaming stories from the Tanami Desert

 

Sandhillls by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Sandhillls

Jap 016879  |  acrylic on linen  |  305 x 91 cm

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Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa

Jap 017077  |  Limited Edition Silkscreen  |  102 x 67 cm

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Salt Series 2 by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Salt Series 2

Jap 017083  |  Limited Edition Etching  |  70 x 49 cm

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Kana-kurlangu Jukurrpa – Digging Stick Dreaming by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Kana-kurlangu Jukurrpa – Digging Stick Dreaming

Jap 017086  |  Colour aquatint etching  |  59 x 46 cm

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Sandhills by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Sandhills

Jap 017087  |  Colour aquatint etching  |  60 x 45 cm

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Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa

Jap 017089  |  Colour aquatint etching  |  44 x 44 cm

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Salt Country by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Salt Country

Jap 017079  |  Limited Edition Etching  |  25 x 20 cm

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Mina Mina – Memories of Country by Dorothy Napangardi

Dorothy Napangardi  |  Mina Mina – Memories of Country

Jap 017767  |  Limited edition silkscreen  |  50 x 39 cm

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Dorothy Napangardi (1952- 2013) established her reputation as a pre-eminent Warlpiri artist when in 2001 she won first prize in Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Her minimal black and white painting was an elegant statement of the Mina Mina salt country that is associated with the Women’s ceremonial site in the area. Her success was followed in 2002 with a major survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

Dorothy was born in the early 1950s at Mina Mina, west of Yuendumu, in the Tanami Desert. Napangardi began painting ‘bush tucker’ stories in 1987 when her children were still young and well after she moved from her ancestral Warlpiri lands into Alice Springs, where she has lived the greater part of her life.

Her first paintings were colourful images of the bush banana dreaming. Working independently of art community pressures and politics left her free to experiment with painting techniques and styles. This, along with pilgrimages back into her homelands in the 1990s, allowed her to refine her visual representation of her Jukurrpa (Dreamings) and stories associated with Mina Mina, culminating in the finely patterned, minimal designs for which she is now so widely recognised.

Dorothy Napangardi’s paintings of Mina Mina have come to epitomise the classical minimal approach to landscape symbolism from Central Australian Aboriginal artists. But her early work was colourful and crowded with references to bushtucker and women’s roles as food gatherers. Her later works came back to the theme of her Jukurrpa or Dreaming story associated with Mina Mina, the story of the Ancestor women travelling eastward with digging sticks, dancing up the Creation country as they went.

Dorothy Napangardi shares this story with the senior Warlpiri women from Yuendumu and Nyirripi, and has transformed her vision of the Mina Mina event into a memorable and powerful rendition of an ancient Dreaming story. Her body of paintings stands as a testimony to the rich tradition of the Warlpiri culture of the Tanami Desert.

Dorothy Napangardi’s paintings are austere and classic distillations of the Central Desert art style. The artist stated “While I’m doing my painting I always have my family in mind. A few years ago we went back to Mina Mina to see my country” (Fire-works catalogue, 2007). Dorothy Napangardi’s innovative and distinctive painting style has earned her the reputation as one of Australia’s most important Aboriginal artists.

Dorothy Napangardi’s connection with country is both the subject of and inspiration for her paintings. Her mature works have monochromatic backgrounds on which she paints a tracery of finely dotted meandering lines or ladder-like cells and grids in a contrasting colour. The large salt lake, Ngayurru (Lake Mackay) in the Warlpiri region is also depicted in Napangardi’s work.

Dorothy Napangardi’s dreaming includes the story of the women from Mina Mina who were travelling eastward with their digging sticks, dancing all the way. The Warlpiri Snake Ancestor, Walyankarna, was travelling north. At a certain point they met and for a while the snake ancestor watched the women dancing, without revealing himself. Their dance was enthusiastic and energetic, such that the dust billowed and rose, eventually elevating the Ancestral Snake and bearing him away to Yaturlu Yaturlu (The Granites), located beside a small rockhole that never dries up.

Aboriginal art status – Highly collectable artist.

Solo Exhibitions
2007    country in mind: dorothy napangardi – stories from mina mina & yvonne mills-stanley – stories from the long paddock, Fire-Works Gallery, Brisbane
2007     Dorothy Napangardi: etchings and screenprints 2001-2006, Northern Editions Printmaking Studio and Gallery, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
2006     Karntu-kurlangu Jukurrpa, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney
2005   Dorothy Napangardi, Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2004/5 Mina Mina – My Country, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney
2004    Mina Mina – My Country, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, USA
2002    Kana-kurlangu, Dorothy Napangardi, Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney
2002/3 Dancing up Country: The Art of Dorothy Napangardi, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
2001     Dorothy Napangardi: New Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2001    Mina Mina: Dorothy Napangardi, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
2000    Recent Paintings by Dorothy Napangardi, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2000    Dorothy Napangardi, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney
1999    Recent works by Dorothy Napangardi, Chapman Gallery, Canberra
1999    Dorothy Napangardi, Fire-works Gallery, Brisbane

 Selected Group Exhibitions

2011     In Black & White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2008    Women’s Law, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2007   Divas of the Desert, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney and Alice Springs NT
2006   Journey to Mina Mina, Gallery Gondwana, Sydney NSW
2006   Dreaming Their Way – Australian Aboriginal Women Painters, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA
2006     Group Show, Hosfelt Gallery, New York, USA
2005     Imagined Worlds – Wilful Invention of the Printed Image 1470-2005, AXA Gallery, New York, USA
2004    Mina Mina & Pirlinyanu, Holmes ả Court Gallery, Perth, WA
2004   Ngati Jinta – One Mother, Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW
2004   Our Country, Our Art, PASCO Art Museum, Korea
2003    Collectors’ Show, Gallery Gondwana at The Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW
2002    Native Title Business – Contemporary Indigenous Art National Travelling Exhibition, Guran Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation), Queensland
2002   One Mother: Dorothy Napangardi and Sabrina Nangala, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs NT
2001    Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2001   18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin  NT
2001     Dreamtime: The Light and the Dark, Sammlung Essl Klosterneuburg, Vienna, Austria
2000/1 The Art of Place Exhibition, Australian Heritage Commission, Old Parliament House, Canberra ACT
2000   Songlines: Walala Tjapaltjarri & Dorothy Napangardi, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK
2000   Dorothy Napangardi & Walala Tjapaltjarri, Adelaide Festival Gallery, Adelaide SA
2000   17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin NT
1999   16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin NT
1999   Recent works by Dorothy Napangardi & Walala Tjapaltjarri, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne VIC
1998   Warlpiri Women, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs NT
1998   Napangardi Dreaming – Ceremony and Song, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney NSW
1998   15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin NT
1991   8th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin NT