Salt on Mina Mina by Dorothy Robinson Napangardi


Salt on Mina Mina by Dorothy Robinson Napangardi


Dorothy Napangardi  c.1950 - 2013

122 x 122cm

Acrylic on canvas

© Dorothy Robinson Napangardi/Copyright Agency, 2018.


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This painting depicts a major women's ceremonial site known as Mina Mina situated near Lake Mackay in the Tanami Desert.  During the Jukurrpa (Creation time), ancestral women of the Napangardi and Napananganka clans gathered to collect ceremonial digging sticks, kuturu, that emerged from the ground. They then proceeded east, performing rituals of song and dance to a place known as Jankinyi. A large belt of eucalyptus trees now stand where these digging stick first appeared. The striking design of the white dotting depicts the encrustations of salt around the dry claypans of Mina Mina, etched with the tracks of the women.

Many years ago, Dorothy Napangardi was acknowledged as an emerging talent when she was awarded the Museum and Art Gallery Award at the 8th National and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA). In 1997, her painting style changed dramatically. Concentrating on her father's homeland at Lake Mackay, Napangardi started painting the Creation site at Mina Mina. Napagardi's conceptual depiction of the land in grids and interlocking linear work was further consolidated when she revisited her country for the first time in about 20 years, Her striking monochromatic work that won the the First Prize of the 18th NATSIAAs, develops this thematic further by concentrating on the fine tracery of white dots to define the women's dancing trail. On another level, these represent the lineaments of the crystallised salt that rise through the dry earth, creating a mosaic pattern across the claypan ridges and rippling dunes of Australia'a second largest salt lake. She has twice been named amongst Australia's most collectable artists by Art Collector Magazine.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Queensland Museum, Brisbane

The  Holmes à Court Collection, Perth 

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA

The Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany

The LeWitt Collection, Chester, Connecticut, USA