Dorothy Napangardi, a Warlpiri woman, was born in the Mina Mina area of the Tanami Desert, c.1958.
Dorothy Napangardi commenced painting in 1987 and her art often refers to her traditional country of Mina Mina, Northern Territory. The rendition of her paintings is characterised by the way she minimises all references to the customary Aboriginal iconography.
In 1998 there was a significant turning point in Dorothy's work and in 2001 Dorothy won first prize at the 18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Like European art, Aboriginal art represents and symbolises the world and the beliefs of people. Traditional Aboriginal art represent the Dreaming but is often also a vital part of ceremonies.
The concept of art in traditional Aboriginal society is very different to the concept of art in European society. In traditional Aboriginal societies, activities like dancing, singing, body decorations, sand drawings, making implements or weaving baskets were not considered to be separate activities called art and design. All of these activities were a part of the Dreaming and a part of normal daily life.
Aboriginal people traditionally used the materials available to them to symbolise the Dreaming and their world. As a result, art forms varied in different areas of Australia. In the central desert, ground drawing was a very important style of art and throughout Australia rock art as well as body painting and decoration were common although varying in styles, method, materials and meaning. There is and was a wide range of traditional Aboriginal art forms.
Communities today throughout Australia such as ours still produce traditional art, which has traditional content and meaning.