WALL WORK: arcylic and aerosol on cement  
2023, Commissioned by Red Hot Arts, Mparntwe (Alice Springs) 
Brontë Naylor would like to acknowledge that this work is made on the unceded lands of Arrunda people the peoples. 
We acknowledge their continuing connection to the lands, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. 

YEAR: 2021
MATERIAL: Acrylic & Aerosols on outise Shopping Center
LOCATION: Alice Springs Shopping Center
, Height:8.5m

Image provided by artists

"Paint me amongst the white gums and the red earth. That's my home, that's me,"

– Patricia Ansell Dodd


Collaboration for The Alice Springs Street Art Festival

Not to Scale is a public artwork made collaboratively on Mparntwe (Alice Springs) between Awabakal land (Newcastle) based artist Bronte Naylor and Meanjin (Brisbane) based artist Gus Eagleton. The artists acknowledge the impossibility of understanding the layered societal complexities of Mparntwe Country during a single experience. The artists sought to reflect their interpretation of the remote town in central Australia. The artwork, from left to right, shows three different experiences and interpretations of place on a progressive scale of connectedness. The viewer can observe the voyeuristic tourist, moving to the local experience then ending with the artist's homage to Undoolya Indigenous Elder Patricia Ansell Dodd, respecting relationship to the country.

Using collage methodologies, a collection of images of preconceived visions of Alice Springs and photographs of onsite experiences were sampled to create the large-format painting. Their ongoing learning of Alice Springs was deepened through experience and by listening to stories told by a cross-section of the community. Locals generously shared lived experiences, memories, and current reflections of Alice Springs; this storytelling informed the artist's direction. The artists’ attention was constantly divided between the task at hand and the careful navigation of profound social, political and cultural considerations.

On the left, there is an uncharacteristic sea-side palm tree and a figure wearing a Hawaiian shirt holding a camera that references a tourist. The preconceived tourist perspective is often constructed by curated online representations of “paradise”, with the intention of attracting national and international visitors. This depiction is an amplification of a stereotypical tourist experience that, due to brevity, arguably denies an authentic connection to the place and is not realistic. The outcome of these experiences becomes a digital cycle, a reenactment of online-based images. The artists highlight the dialogue between reality and the digital space throughout the artwork. Behind the figure floats a motion-blurred photo of the MacDonnell Range (Tjoritja) taken from a moving rental van, emphasising the tourists' disconnect from the landscape. This postcard image also acknowledges that the fly-in public artists participated reflexively in making location-specific and community-centred artwork site unseen.

The centre of the piece depicts a more localised and uncensored documentation of Alice Springs. The imagery captures elements of the Clay Pans, a place of beauty and, according to locals, 'a good reflection of Alice Springs.' Additionally, quintessential Australian objects such as plastic outdoor chairs and car bodies were found among the invasive introduced buffelgrass. These fragments of urban detritus were arranged on-site, then reasethisised using acrylic paint in an attempt to extend ‘photoshop motifs’ to reintroduce them to the wall painting. The action of forming this assemblage highlights a collision between the urban and natural landscape.

On the right, the artwork narrative continues on to depict a portrait of Indigenous Undoolya Elder, academic and acclaimed artist Patricia Ansell Dodds. The artists’ time with Ansell Dodds compelled them to capture her essence on the wall as she embodies a profound relationship unique to First Nations people and their land. Through her advocacy work, she implements cross-cultural awareness and informs health and social justice experts. Her portrait is strategically positioned among native ghost gum and red earth. It’s symbolic, intentionally void of foreign matter. She explained to the artists that she is as much a part of Undoolya as it is of her.

The public artwork runs along the walls of an alleyway. It is not visible in its entirety from any single viewpoint and thus unfolds as the pedestrian progresses. The viewer first encounters the goofy tourist, then images of urban detritus that dissolve into a mirror of the current landscape which progresses to pre-colonial native scenery as remembered by Ansell Dodds.

"Paint me amongst the white gums and the red earth. That's my home, that's me,"

– Patricia Ansell Dodd

Finally, the painting ends with the powerful message championed by the Close the Gap clothing brand.


Mparntwe has and always will be the traditional land of the Central Arrernte people.

Not to scale.

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Words by Bronte Naylor 


Images by Brontë Naylor