Your artworks
  • Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 1
  • Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 2
  • Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 3
  • Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 4
  • Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 5
Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 1
Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 2
Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 3
Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 4
Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm | Aboriginal Art  | Art Ark - 5

Sally M Mulda, Abbott's Camp - all the kungkas sitting around the fire, 40x40cm

$249.00
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  • Artist - Sally M Mulda
  • Community - Alice Springs 
  • Art Centre/Community organisation - Tangentyere Artists  
  • Catalogue number - 7261-15
  • Materials - Acrylic on pre-stretched canvas  
  • Size(cm) - H40 W40 D3.5  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted pre-stretched and ready to hang

This is about Abbott's Camp, my home. All the kungkas are sitting around the fire. We all sit round fires, play
cards, talk, tell stories.

Born at Titjikala, her parents from Erldunda and Aputula regions, Mulda has lived in Alice Springs since she married as a young woman. After losing the use of her left arm in a childhood accident, Mulda later faced the challenge of losing her sight in one eye. Widowed and without children, Mulda lived with friends and extended family in Alice Springs for many years. Having never painted before joining Tangentyere Artists in 2008, from the outset Mulda sought to record those interactions that constitute life for so many Aboriginal people today.


Initially Mulda struggled with painting because of her compromised vision, but following surgery on her good eye, Mulda grew in confidence to create her own rich and fluid figurative style that celebrates her place in the world. Mulda loosely applies layers of colour in broad brush strokes to depict the world around her.


Of Mulda’s domestic environment, a tap drips into a bowl for the dogs, children play, men and women sit in the shade occasionally playing cards, making punu and seed jewellery, playing with babies, celebrating important events, occasionally drinking, while ranges in the background pulse with the heat, or the stars shine in clear skies. Further afield, Mulda explores life since the Intervention: camping in the riverbed in swags, Council rangers moving people on, police pouring out grog, or taking people to sober up. Mulda observes details, such as the navy blue Northern Territory police uniform introduced in early 2012.


Mulda records events she witnesses and experiences without bias or any kind of judgement of the subjects. It is as it is. Her oeuvre represents a journalistic approach to local situations. This is especially pertinent in that many of her paintings include text that explains each scene in strong and simple language. This form of social commentary on the daily lives of Town Camp residents in Alice Springs represents an important catalogue of lived experiences, captured for posterity.


As Mulda explained about her many years living at Little Sisters Town Camp, located at the base of Mt Gillen, just south of Heavitree Gap, 'Us grownups sing one side, all'a kids playing and making noise on the other, all'a dogs - big - little all running round, making noise, all feeling good for home, you know?'


In 2011, Mulda moved to Abbott’s Town Camp, located by the Todd River. Life is slightly different for her there, and as a result of the move, Mulda’s paintings, some including text, continue to reveal more fascinating insights about life today in Central Australia.


Mulda was a finalist in the Telstra 2012 National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, and was the winner of the 2011 'Rights on Show' Annual Human Rights Art Award and exhibition. Her work has been acquired by many private collections and several public institutions.

Representing Aboriginal people from Town Camps, Tangentyere Artists is the only Aboriginal owned, not-for-profit painting studio and gallery in Alice Springs.

Figurative narrative paintings are the Tangentyere Artists’ signature style. By documenting sites and activities familiar to them, Town Camp artists afford their audience insight into their personal histories and everyday lives.

Accordingly, cultural and historical subject matter coexist with scenes of contemporary, urban life. This illuminates the artists’ intimate knowledge and negotiation of both worlds, a duality not well known or represented elsewhere.

The artists detail sites of cultural significance in country, the undertaking of cultural activity, scenes from outstations and recollections of pastoral experiences and mission days. Also represented are the day-to-day affairs of Town Camps; kangaroo tail cooking in the fire, children playing, families talking stories, drinking, playing cards and fixing cars.

Interactions with local police, service providers and townspeople are also intimately documented, with the backdrops revealing urban locations where people congregate, such as the Todd River bed or public lawns. Importantly, these scenes expose a complex temporal order and marginalised realities not well understood by mainstream consciousness.

The choice of subject matter and the way artists choose to illustrate it unwittingly challenges the orthodoxy of Aboriginal art. From behind the veil of more popular representations of Tjukurrpa emerge the actualities of everyday life for Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

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