Upcoming Exhibition: Dorothy Napangardi | And they danced their way across country


a retrospective: remembering the artist

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Opening Saturday 20th October, 2pm at Cooee Art Paddington

326 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021

To be opened by Roslyn Premont of Gallery Gondwana

On view 20 October - 10 November 2018


Dorothy Napangardi, Karntakurlangu, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Belgian Linen, 152 x 152 cm, #16966


Cooee art is proud to present Dorothy Napangardi: And They Danced Their Way Across Country, a survey of works by Dorothy Napangardi. The exhibition will be on view from Saturday 20 October - Saturday 10 November 2018, officially opening on Saturday 20th October at 2 pm at Cooee Art Paddington.

With New York’s MET recently acquiring one of Napangardi’s paintings and her current retrospective held at Seattle Art Museum, Cooee Art will showcase a selection of Napangardi’s finest works.  The exhibition will feature paintings, prints, and drawings that take the viewer on a journey to Mina Mina and its shimmering salt pans and lakes. Dorothy’s mimetic paintings reveal the vast expanse of her country in microscopic detail.

Dorothy’s early artistic endeavors were heavily influenced by memories of her childhood. Her subject matter consisted principally of the Bush Plum and Bush Banana, wild fruits that grow in abundance near Mina Mina, changing in colour as they ripen, depicted in vibrant acrylic tones. Her early paintings swiftly marked Dorothy as an artist of great talent. Her superb sense of composition created a rhythmic effect as semi-naturalistic depictions were entwined in an altogether geometric formation.

In 1997, Dorothy began producing works that traced the grid-like patterns of the salt encrustations on the Mina Mina clay pans, marking a significant artistic shift in her work. Over a three-year period, her paintings became less contrived and increasingly spare, all detail pared back to the barest essentials. These works, in which Dorothy explores the Women’s Digging Sticks Dreaming and other stories related to the travels of the Karntakurlangu, compel the spectators eye to dance across the painted surface, just as these ancestral women danced in their hundreds across the country during the region’s creation.

As these works developed, her extraordinary spatial vision enabled her to create mimetic grids of the salt encrustations. The lines of white dots trace the travels of her female ancestors as they danced their way, in joyous exultation, through the saltpans, spinifex, and sandhills clutching their digging sticks in their outstretched hands.

Dorothy Napangardi, Karntakurlangu, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Belgian Linen, 91 x 122 cm, #16968

Kathleen Petyarre has been quoted as saying:

“Those Walpiri ladies, they’re mad about dancing, they go round and round and round dancing, they’re always dancing.”

Little wonder then, that the surfaces of Dorothy’s canvases become dense rhythms of grids, as she maps the paths of these dancing women. Aboriginal dance in the desert is special and can be described as heavily grounded, foot to earth – a physical memory. Her art describes a sensitive relationship between artist and subject, the landscape revealed.

“I really like painting. While I’m doing my paintings I always have my family in my mind, I have my country in mind”

- Dorothy Napangardi


To view catalogue, please click here

Dorothy Napangardi, Beyond Mina Mina (Bilby Dreaming), Synthetic Polymer Paint on Belgian Linen, 91 x 122 cm, #16957



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Thursday 11th October 6pm

Cooee Art Paddington - 326 Oxford St 

RSVP: +61 2 8057 6789 or info@cooeeart.com.au

Cooee art is proud to present an artist talk and cross-cultural performance by the artist Blak Douglas, on Thursday 11th October 2018, 6pm at Cooee Art Gallery Paddington. Co-current to his first solo show with Cooee Art, How Fast Are You Going Now?, Blak Douglas will discuss his latest body of work, as well as holding a captivating Q&A session. The night will also include traditional dance numbers, singing, and a yirdaki performance. An event not to be missed!

CAUTION! (Culture Crossing) by Blak Douglas
CAUTION! (Culture Crossing) - 2018
Blak Douglas 6

100.0 x 100.0 cm
#16849 LOCATION: Bondi Beach

Beyond Mina Mina (Bilby Dreaming) by Dorothy Robinson Napangardi
Beyond Mina Mina (Bilby Dreaming) - 2007
Dorothy Robinson Napangardi 10

91 x 122 cm

Karntakurlangu by Dorothy Robinson Napangardi
Karntakurlangu - 2009
Dorothy Robinson Napangardi 10

152 x 152 cm

Karntakurlangu by Dorothy Robinson Napangardi
Karntakurlangu - 2004
Dorothy Robinson Napangardi 10

122 x 91 cm