"Broken Law" by Malya Teamay (800x1150mm) Acrylic on Canvas
800x1150mm Acrylic on Canvas
Desert painting is inextricably linked with the Tjukurpa or the Law and way of life of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people).
Meaning of the designs depends on the subject and particular people are responsible for their re-creation and teaching according to the
Tjukurpa. The doƫng technique has become a Centralian tradition, evolving with the adaptation of traditional painting for public display and
as a depiction of the landscape.
Malya's “Broken Law’ theme was first painted by his brother over twenty years ago. It is a story of strong culture, the results of contact with
non-Aboriginal people and then the positive outcomes of true reconciliation.
The first part of the painting describes traditional, pre-contact life in the desert. The Tjukurpa or Ancestral law and way of life is shown by the
strong black line with its links in country and kin. The ‘u’ shape figures are Anangu siƫng together around fires, untroubled as they follow their
ancestors’ ways. With the coming of non-Aboriginal people, piranpa or ‘whitefellas’, some traditions begin to be overturned in ways Anangu
have no precedence for dealing with. There are mixed blood marriages and rapes, alcohol is introduced and after a generation of this the
children of alcoholics take to petrol. Malya has painted the graves of people dying too young. The ancestors’ Tjukurpa is breaking up. Malya
then shows the process of reconciliation through people sitting down together. He sees a positive future in which Anangu and non-Anangu
share their problems, finding solutions by open discussion and mutual respect. In this way the Tjukurpa will be strong and protective again.
About the Artist
Artist : Malya Teamay
Born : 1947
Language : Pitjantjatjara
Date : 10/03/2017
Community : Mutitjulu, NT
Malya Teamay was born at Tjulu (Curtin Springs), east of Uluru. He lives with his family in Mutitjulu. As a painter he expresses both the Laws of
his country and issues of contemporary history. He is an advocate for the landrights and an inaugural member of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National
Park Board of Joint Management, he is regularly called on as a senior traditional consultant, liaison officer and spokesperson for Mutitjulu and
the National Park. His painting is on the National Park entrance ticket and his works can be seen throughout the Cultural Centre, in National Park publications and national Art Galleries.
Malya was a finalist in the 2019 Vincent Lingiari Art Award.
About Maruku Arts
For over 30 years Maruku has operated as a not-for-profit art and craft corporation, owned and operated by Anangu. Approximately 900 Aboriginal artists belonging to over 20 remote communities across the Central and Western Deserts, make up the collective that is Maruku. Our purpose is to keep culture strong and alive, through art, craft and organic experiences.