Doris Gingingara

Doris Gingingara

Doris Gingingara

Arnhem Land,
Doris Gingingara (1946 – 1999) came to prominence during the 1990s when her detailed images of the natural world were part of the art portfolio promoted by Desert Designs, alongside desert artist Jimmy Pike. Doris Gingingara was born at Maningrida, an Aboriginal community on the north coast of Australia at the mouth of the Liverpool River.

Doris Gingingara had a traditional upbringing, and learned the skills taught by the women of her Barada language group. Doris remembers as a small girl that she was taken by Mimi spirits and placed in a tree where she was taught the skills of basket-weaving and net-making. The Mimi spirits of Arnhem Land are only experienced in dreams in the twilight, normally only visible to wise people. Doris Gingingara had an exceptional experience when her life came to be influenced by the spirits of cultural standing in her community. Here was the understanding that cultural knowledge was not totally dependent on individuals, but conceived in Dreaming and passed down through generations.

Doris Gingingara did her schooling in Darwin, 500 kms from Maningrida, and went to visit her family at holiday time. But Cyclone Tracy changed everything when it demolished Darwin in 1974, and Doris Gingingara was repatriated to Perth, then later to Geraldton and on to Mount Magnet. Doris stayed in this outback mining town in Western Australia with her French-born husband Danny, until her death at the young age of 53 in 1999.

Doris Gingingara drew inspiration for her art came from the well of childhood experiences – events of everyday life, and details she saw in the bush around her. Doris Gingingara included Dreaming totems, ceremonies and sacred locations in her art. What we get from her work is the intricate detail of the natural world seen from an Aboriginal woman’s perspective, an insight into the complex relationship of the artist and natural world.

Doris Gingingara's artworks

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