Although Namatjira’s personal history had a tragic outcome, he continues to inspire a vigorous tradition in landscape painting that is only recently receiving renewed recognition, having been swamped by the success of the acrylic dot painting movement.
Another offshoot has flourished “ the pottery produced by the women of Hermannsburg “ and this, alone, is worth the trip to the gallery. The large, unglazed, ceramic pots are wonderfully decorated with stories, mainly of different animals. One series has the everyday life of the animal on the side of the pot, and then a small sculpture adorning the stopper on top. So there is a kookaburra with a tiger snake in its mouth, and a beautifully realised frill-necked lizard, among others. There is even a Toyota, complete with tiny members of the community.
Recently the women have begun to paint with acrylics, vibrantly coloured paintings showing scenes from everyday life, of which Waterbirds, by Rahel Ungwanaka is a stunning example.
Namatjira to Now until February 15, gallery 5&6 at the Queensland Art Gallery.
Artist: albert namatjira
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