Dorothy Napangardi circa 1950-2013
Dorothy Napangardi only started painting in 1987 when she moved with her husband from Yendumu to Alice Springs. She had little formal schooling but was educated in the history and Dreamtime of her people which shows in her artworks. Her ancestral desert country was her artistic focus despite not being able to live there, particularly after a return visit as an adult in 1999. ‘[Her] practice was intrinsically connected to her heritage, taking influence from and expanding upon traditional designs of the Kurawarri (Dreaming). Her stylistically distinct paintings present studies of her ancestral lands through interconnected networks of dotted lines. Not only do these works present the land topographically, but also with specific relation to ancestral tracks and the stories that they convey.’2
Napangardi won the top prize in 2001 in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. This brought her more recognition and in 2002 the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney staged an exhibition of her artworks.
Napangardi has garnered international attention since then with premier galleries in Australia, the USA, and Germany permanently displaying her works, and solo and group exhibitions being held in San Francisco and Austria.