We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Sally M Nangala Mulda Two town camp stories

acrylic on linen

50.1 x 120.2 cm

Sally M Nangala Mulda is a Pitjantjatjara and Luritja artist who lives at Abbott’s Camp, an Aboriginal-run community in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Part of the town camp movement, it is situated by the Todd River where the wide, sandy riverbed is ideal for cooking kangaroo tails in a low burning fire.

Born in Titjikala in 1957, Mulda experienced a childhood accident that left her with impaired vision, but surgery has improved her sight. Exhibiting since 2008, she creates bright canvases with distinctive cursive text, depicting scenes of everyday life within Abbott’s Camp and drawing attention to social and political issues with emotional honesty.

In this portrait, the artist is wearing the stripey top and sits with her daughter, Louise Abbott. The other two people cooking roo tails on the fire represent all town camp women. As Mulda puts it: they are ‘maybe me and Louise, maybe any womans. This is town camp life. Every day.’

Mulda is also a finalist in this year’s Sulman Prize.

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