Lake Macquarie City Council

Two Girls from Amoonguna

Two Girls From Amoonguna is an exhibition featuring new work by Arrernte and Southern Luritja artist Sally M Nangala Mulda and Western Arrarnta artist Marlene Rubuntja.


Event Details



Event Starts

Aug 10, 2024 09:00

Event Ends

Oct 13, 2024 15:00


Museum of Art and Culture yapang


First Street, Booragul NSW, Australia

Two Girls From Amoonguna is an exhibition featuring new work by Arrernte and Southern Luritja artist Sally M Nangala Mulda and Western Arrarnta artist Marlene Rubuntja. Encompassing video, bush-dyed, handsewn soft sculptures and observationalist paintings, it recounts their intertwining stories of friendship and resilience.

The centerpiece is an animated work titled Arrkutja Tharra, Kungka Kutjara, Two Girls. It delves into the reality of First Peoples’ experiences in Central Australia, chronicling the artists’ successes and struggles. Both renowned Town Camp artists, the two friends grew up at the Amoonguna Settlement in Northern Territory but wouldn’t reconnect until later in life, after both had witnessed a number of hardships.

Now having achieved so much, they are immensely proud of one another. Sally and Marlene’s practice is representative of where they live, Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Playful, self-referential, and humorous, it embodies the history and rich culture of Mparntwe and its surrounding town camps.

The exhibition is beautiful, poignant, and honest in its portrayal of community life and government control. Arrkutja Tharra, Kungka Kutjara, Two Girls was made in collaboration with Ludo Studio, the Emmy-award winning production company behind Bluey, Robbie Hood, and The Strange Chores, and is an Artbank + ACMI co-commission.

An ACMI touring exhibition. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Visions of Australia program.

Image at top: Sally M Nangala Mulda and Marlene Rubuntja, Arrkutja Tharra, Kungka Kutjara, Two Girls, 2023 (video still).

Sally M Nangala Mulda was born in Titjikala in 1957, and currently resides in Abbott’s Town Camp by the Todd River in Mparntwe/ Alice Springs.

Her figurative paintings of bold fluid movement, layering of colours and cursive descriptive text candidly depict lived experiences within this camp. She lays bare her reality, cataloguing domestic scenes; cooking damper and talking story, alongside snippets of life since the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention; police pouting out grog and camping in the riverbed.

Mulda reserves a didactic approach, and paints her stories, shared by many Indigenous Australians, with emotional and political honesty. Having only taken up painting later in life in 2008, Mulda’s career has been met with much success, and seen her celebrated as one of the nation’s top contemporary artist’s.

Marlene Rubuntja was born in Mparntwe/ Alice Springs in 1961 and grew up at Amoonguna community. She is the daughter of Wenten Rubuntja the well-known painter and activist, who fought for the rights of people to settle Town Camps in Alice Springs.

Rubuntja learnt to sew at Yirara College, Mparntwe/ Alice Springs, however she only began making soft sculptures at Yarrenyty Arltere in 2009. She says she draws inspiration for her soft sculptures from what she sees around her in her daily life at the Yarrenyty Arltere Town Camp: “Some things are good for people and other things make people really mad.” She also draws inspiration from her father’s country and from her husband’s country at Wave Hill.

Rubuntja is interested in telling proudly the stories of her people; her art is helping her do this. Rubuntja is a proud spokesperson for Yarrenyty Arltere and is happy to tell people how important it is in her life in helping her stay strong and healthy.

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