Irene Entata: Painted ceramics

Three painted terracotta pots currently on display in Gallery 3 at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) by Arrernte–Luritja artist Irene Entata depict three distinct periods in Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira’s life, including the sad circumstances of his death. One of the foremost artists of the Hermannsburg Potters, Irene Entata (1946–2014), is known internationally for her…

Portrait of Albert Namatjira

A conventional portrait — a seated half-figure painted from life — which is disrupted by the subject’s race. In mid-twentieth-century Australia, Indigenous people had rarely figured in a genre that confirmed the status of ‘elder statesman’ upon its (mainly male) subjects. William Dargie’s Portrait of Albert Namatjira 1956 has subsequently become the most identifiable image…

Albert Namatjira, an Australian identity

William Dargie’s iconic image of Albert Namatjira has become the most identifiable image of the artist, and Ben Quilty and Vincent Namatjira have each been inspired to incorporate this original into their versions. Ben Quilty’s painting Albert 2004 features two identifiable Australian identities placed together, Namatjira, the pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art, and the…

The full-bodied vessels of the Hermannsburg Potters document their culture

Ntaria, the former Lutheran Hermannsburg Mission, located about 130 kilometres west of Alice Springs, is now home to the Hermannsburg Potters. The Arrernte people from this area – inspired by the example of their forebear, Albert Namatjira – are famous for their watercolours of the desert interior of Australia. When the Arrernte community took responsibility…

An enduring art tradition: The Hermannsburg School

The Hermannsburg School is an art movement that began at the Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg in Central Australia in the 1930s, inspired by Arrernte artist Albert Namatjira who was born there. Following Namatjira’s early sell-out exhibitions, members of his extended family and his community – most of whom were already making art in some form – became interested in…

Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, Garimala (The Two Snakes) 1988

Albert Namatjira’s lasting legacy

The life and work of Albert Namatjira have left a lasting legacy for artists throughout the country. As a boy in the 1950s, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, a Mara painter from the Gulf of Carpentaria, met Albert Namatjira. For many artists, Namatjira’s use of non-traditional colours and techniques was a liberating influence and, when Riley took…