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An Uncontrollable Child

The autobiography of an Aboriginal artist.

By Reggie Sultan

ISBN 9780977503520

Published by David M. Welch 2008

Format: Paperback

108 pages, with 90 colour photos, 2 black and white photos and a map.

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In documenting his life and art, Reggie Sultan provides a unique window of insight for the reader to clearly grasp the concepts and nuances found in Central Australian Aboriginal art.

From a Kaititja (Barrow Creek area) Aboriginal mother and an Afghan father he grew up to be a successful Aboriginal artist, painting in both the landscape style with watercolours and the non-figurative traditional Central Australian Aboriginal art style, where he employs either a dot background or his unique speckled background.

After running away and stealing cars, Reggie Sultan was described by Welfare Officers as “an uncontrollable child.” Reggie tells his story of being sent to boys’ homes in Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin, of his escapes, being sent to gaol, his work as a stockman, and his development as an Aboriginal artist.



Part One – My Story

Pioneering Muslim Afghan cameleers in Australia
Kaititja people at Barrow Creek

Part Two – Paintings

Landscape paintings with watercolour
Dot paintings – acrylic paints on canvas
Leaf and speckled background paintings
Modern Aboriginal art styles
Random brush background paintings
Credits and further reading