Dorothy Napangardi (c.1950-2013) was the master of movement. Her dotted representations of the landscape around her country are truly captivating and have made her one of the most well-known Australian Aboriginal artists.
Dorothy was born in the early 1950s and her country is Mina Mina, which is about 400km north-west of Alice Springs. Mina Mina is the site of an important rock hole and there are many Dreaming stories associated with this country. Dorothy was one of around 3,000 Warlpiri speakers who lived in or are originally from the Tanami Desert region of Central Australia.
Whilst Dorothy had little 'formal' schooling, she was well versed in the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives and had a deep knowledge of her country. Her father was also a senior law-giver. Dorothy grew up 'bush' with no exposure to white man until her family moved to the Yuendumu settlement.
In 1987 Dorothy began painting and soon found a highly original voice and style. Her work revolves around dotted representations of the landscape around Mina Mina. They explore different and intricate representations of its salt pans and sand hills. Whilst Dorothy does sometimes use colour, it tends to be only in a subtle and minimalistic manner. Her art concentrates on movement to capture the viewer.
Dorothy loved to go hunting and walking on her country. She loved to look and listen to her country and this provided the inspiration to paint. Through painting, sitting down and singing and remembering, Dorothy explained that she felt a closer connection to her country.