Dorothy Napangardi

RealTime

Dorothy Napangardi, Sandhills of Mina Mina 2002, synthetic polymer paint on linen 152 x 152 cms, Private collection, Sydney

Dorothy Napangardi, Sandhills of Mina Mina 2002, synthetic polymer paint on linen 152 x 152 cms, Private collection, Sydney

Dorothy Napangardi, Sandhills of Mina Mina 2002, synthetic polymer paint on linen 152 x 152 cms, Private collection, Sydney

There are a number of ways in which the paintings of Dorothy Napangardi, although superficially similar, directly contradict and subvert the modernist implication of the grid, and in so doing confront the viewer with cultural difference. Her works are narrative-based, mimetically tracing the movements and activities of the Women Ancestors as they dance their way through spinifex and over sandhills. They also repeat nature and the natural formations of the environment and as such deal very much with the ‘real’ as opposed to the ‘abstract.’ Whilst contemporary they nevertheless draw upon age-old tradition and cultural knowledge as well as a complex and articulated religion.

From the catalogue essay “Form and content” by Vivienne Webb, Dancing Up Country, The art of Dorothy Napangardi, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Image and text reproduced with permission.

Dorothy Napangardi is a Warlpiri woman from the area around Mina Mina, a significant site located near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory. She now lives and works in Alice Springs.

Dancing Up Country, The art of Dorothy Napangardi, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, presented in association with the 2003 Sydney Festival until March 9. The exhibition then tours courtesy of Asialink to the National Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi, Vietnam, April-June, and to the National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August-October.

RealTime issue #53 Feb-March 2003 pg. 13

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1 February 2003