Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa

Dorothy Napangardi Australian (Aboriginal)

Not on view

One of the most prominent artists of her generation, Dorothy Napangardi was instructed in the ancestral narratives (jukurrpa) of her people, the Warlpiri, from an early age. This painting is an imagined mapping of ancestral women who traveled east from the sacred site of Mina Mina. Seizing upon digging sticks (kurlangu) that emerged from the ground, they carved out the landscape, giving it shape and form. In the harsh desert environment of the artist’s homeland, dominated by sandhills and salt lakes, the story can be interpreted as an analogy for the cultural knowledge vested in women.

In her signature style, Dorothy Napangardi distills elements of the rocky topography into the simplest of forms. An elegant grid of gently proliferating dots and lines evokes spiritual depth and resonance, animating her connection to Country.

Karntakurlangu Jukurrpa, Dorothy Napangardi (Australian (Aboriginal), ca. 1950–2013 Yuendumu/Alice Springs), Acrylic on canvas

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