Elsie Granites Napanangka (1959) is a respected and well established Indigenous artist from Yuendumu, in the Northern Territory. Yuendumu is one of the largest remote communities in central Australia and has a thriving community of Aboriginal artists, including Felicity Robertson Nampitjinpa and the late Dorothy Napangardi. Yuendumu lies 293km northwest of Alice Springs on the Tanami Track in the Gibson Desert and is a community largely made up of the Warlpiri and Anmatyerr Aboriginal people.
Elsie’s paintings are based on the Dreamings of her custodial land “Mina Mina” the Country west of her birthplace in Yuendumu. Elsie paints in the minimalist black and white dotting style, similar to the late Dorothy Napangardi who also painted “Mina Mina”.Elsie’s often monochrome depiction of “Mina Mina’ is an abstract representation of her Country, with each and every dot representing the Ancestral Spirits that travelled across the land during the Dreamtime. It is believed that where ever the Ancestral Spirits lay, the natural formations of the land occurred. Thus, it is clear to see why Elsie’s work is such an important and beautifully represented depiction of her sacred land. Elsie also paints the sacred, “Seven Sisters Dreaming” story.
The seven sisters Dreaming illustrated by Elsie tells of the sacred story of the ancestral sisters who are being chased by the ancestral Jakamarra man, who was in love with them. The story goes that in an attempt to escape the Jakamarra man, the seven sisters turned themselves into the stars an ascended into the heavenly skies which today make up the constellation of Taurus. The Jakamarra man depicted as the lone star in this painting is still chasing the love of the sisters today.The powerful story in this work so intricately detailed by Elsie is enhanced with her use of contrasting colours including blue, black and white.