Family taking Roo Tail down the creek
Sally M. Nangala Mulda
Sally M Nangala Mulda’s figurative paintings are frank and unsparing depictions of life in Abbott’s town camp on the Todd River in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). On her canvases, the landscape of the everyday is laid bare, with blunt honesty. Trips to the shop and cups of tea are documented alongside candid portrayals of the all-too-frequent police presence. The descriptive text that Mulda applies atop her scenes is diaristic and tethers each painting to a particular time and place. A succession of narrative vignettes that are almost photographic in the way they capture and chronicle experience, Mulda’s paintings offer an index of life as it is lived.
While Mulda does not see herself as an activist, her work is politically charged. Through her stark snapshots of daily life we witness the impacts of the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention: the overcrowding in Town Camps, prejudicial regulation of alcohol consumption, compromised employment opportunities, the enhanced jurisdiction of the police. The story – Mulda’s own and that of so many other Indigenous people in Australia today – reminds us of what reality really looks like.
synthetic polymer paint on linen
45.5 x 45.5 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2019
Not on display
© Sally M Nangala Mulda. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
The National 2019: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 29 Mar 2019–21 Jul 2019