Lenie Namatjira

Language: Western Arrarnta
Date of birth: 1951-12-26
Community: Alice Springs



Lenie Namatjira was born in Raggats Well, Glen Helen Station. Lenie was Albert Namatjira’s granddaughter, daughter to Oscar Namatjira. After an absence from Hermannsburg to attend the mission school and complete  three years of service in the Army Labor gang, Oscar returned to his family at the Hermannsburg Mission and took up painting like his father. For a period of twelve months Oscar became Albert’s truck driver, driving Albert and his supplies to different painting locations. Oscar learnt how to paint from his father and became a skilled practitioner in his own right. Oscar raised a large family, Lenie being one of ten children. Lenie and her siblings (Euphrene, Reginald, Saleen, Wallace, Albert Jnr, Marcia, Donald, Rosabelle, Gwenda and Bessie) were all raised at Hermannsburg.

Lenie painted in the tradition of her father and grandfather. Her watercolour paintings focus on the landscape west of Hermannsburg. Many of her paintings are drawn from childhood memories of her country.

Lenie’s paintings are held in collections including the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.


  • 2004 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2005 Affordable Art Show, Melbourne, VIC, Courtesy Alcaston Gallery
  • 2005 Art Sydney 05 Fox Studios Sydney, NSW, Courtesy Alcaston Gallery
  • 2005 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2006 Watercolour Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2006 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2007 Advocate Art Award, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2007 Divas of the Desert, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2007 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2008 Indigenart, Subiaco, WA
  • 2008 The Namatjira circle-landscapes of Central Australia, Birrung Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2008 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2008 CCAE, A New Beginning Exhibition, Darwin, NT
  • 2009 Real to Surreal, Scenes from the Centre: Journey with the New Generation of Hermannsburg Watercolour Artists, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
  • 2009 Beyond Batterby, Recent Watercolour by Central Australian Artists, Hobart, TAS
  • 2009 The Watercolourists of Central Australia, Indigenart, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2009 Art Gallery of NSW
  • 2010 Telstra Art award finalist
  • 2011 Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2011 Chapman Gallery, Canberra Collections: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  • 2011 Namatjira: Regeneration, Metropolis Gallery, Geelong, VIC
  • 2012 Damian Minton Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2012 The Lockup, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2012 Regional Art Gallery, Burnie, TAS
  • 2012 Art Mob, Launceston, TAS
  • 2012 Art Mob, Hobart, TAS
  • 2012 Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, VIC
  • 2012 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
  • 2012 Talapi Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2012 Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, QLD
  • 2012 Douglas Abbott and Lenie Namatjira, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2012 The Beyond Billabong Fundraiser, QLD
  • 2013 The Namatjira Legacy, Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2013 Customs House Library, NAIDOC week 2013, in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2013 Contemporary Aboriginal Art From Australia, Château de l’Etang, Paris
  • 2013 Living Watercolours, Southbank Centre, London
  • 2014 Five Generations: The Strength of Namatjira’s Legacy, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014 RightNow, Boomalli, Sydney, NSW
  • 2014 Regeneration, Metropolis Gallery, Geelong, VIC
  • 2014 Women Artists of the Hermannsburg School of Art, The Residency, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014 Namatjira to Now, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
  • 2014 Country in Colour, AIATSIS, Canberra, ACT
  • 2015 Hermannsburg Horizons, Wooloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2015 The Namatjira Collection, RAFT art space, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2015 The Namatjira Collection, TARNANTHI, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
  • 2016 Lingiari awards exhibition, Tangentyere gallery, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2016 UNALIENABLE, Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2016 Abducted! Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2017 Pmara Nurnakanha Parta-Kurta, ANU Photospace Gallery, ACT
  • 2017 A Widening Gap: The IntervenƟon, 10 Years On, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney, NSW
  • 2017 ArtGeo Complex ExhibiƟon, Busselton, WA
  • 2017 Pmara Nurnakanha Parta-Kurta, Wooloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2017 What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira? TARNANTHI, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA

Special Projects and Awards

  • 2011 – 2014 The Namatjira Play, Big hArt Production
  • 2014 Public Art, Mural at the Alice Plaza, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014 Knara Nunaka Tjurretja – Our Big Country: The West MacDonnell Ranges, Highly commended at the 31st Telstra Arts Awards, Darwin, NT
  • 2015 Print workshop Honorary Guest, Australian National University (ANU), Canberra
  • 2016 Mt. Sonder, The Sleeping Lady, Finalist at the 33rd Telstra Arts Awards, Darwin, NT
  • 2016 Parrtjima, Festival of Light, Alice Springs (Illuminated skirt)
  • 2017 NMA Honorary Guest and exhibition launch, Canberra

Group exhibitions

  • 2019
    Tjina Nurna-ka, Pmarra Nurn-kanha, Itla Itla Nurn-kanha (Our family, our country, our legacy), Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide SA
  • 2017
    Tjuritja Nana Mara to Paris (From the good Tjuritja to Paris), IDAIA , Paris , France


  • 2011 National Gallery of Australia (NGA), Canberra, ACT
  • 2012 Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW), Sydney
  • Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2008 Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT
  • Museum & Art Gallery of the NT
  • Art gallery of South Australia
  • 2016 National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), VIC
  • 2016 National Museum of Australia (NMA), Canberra
  • 2016 University of Technology Gallery (UTS), Sydney
  • 2017 Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD