Walking becomes a rhythm that adjusts to each landscape we cross. Translating that rhythm into paint became a goal for one artist who walked hundreds of miles across her homeland. Dorothy Napangardi was born in the Tanami Desert of Australia, where a crystalline salt-lake region played a powerful role in her life. She spoke of the unconditional happiness and freedom she felt when she traversed her family’s country and slept beside them with stars as a canopy.
A gallery filled with her paintings from 2000–13 takes us to the shimmering salt lake, where she absorbed indigenous laws and stories from the land and her family. Her individual style of intricate dotting can suggest a vast aerial perspective or a microscopic maze.
Image: Mina Mina (Black and White), 2008, Dorothy Napangardi, Australian, 1950s-2013, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 66 1/8 x 96 1/16 in., Promised gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan.