Words: Erin Irwin
N.Smith Gallery has announced that it now represents Pitjantjatjara woman Sally Scales. Hailing from the far west of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia, the artist has already made big waves on the Australian art scene.
In the last few years alone, Scales has been the finalist in the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales twice, as well as at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander awards at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin – twice. She has also won the Roberts Family Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and had three solo exhibitions. The BBC named her as one of the 100 women of the year in 2022.
Scales draws on the styles of her two grandmothers Kuntjiriya Mick and Kunmanara (Wawiriya) Burton, as well as that of her mother, Josephine Mick, whilst having developed an aesthetic all of her own. Portraying the landscape of her ancestral home, the artist uses bold, undulating colours and expressive mark-making to evoke the breathtaking nature of the Australian environment.
On top of being an artist, Scales is also in an active leadership within the Uluru Dialogue for the First Nations Voice to Parliament, acts as a board member for the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, and is a member of the National Gallery of Australia Council as Chair of its First Nations Advisory Group. She is also foster mum to son Walter.
While it is hard to imagine she has the time, she has created a new suite of works to be exhibited at N.Smith Gallery. Aralya – Nyuna opens 16 August.
This article was posted 16 August 2023.
Image: Sally Scales with her nephew Mitika. Courtesy: the artist, Mitika, and N.Smith Gallery, Sydney.