Mona Lisa Clements

Benita Clements

Language: Western Aranda
Date of birth: 1980-05-05
Community: Alice Springs

Artworks

Biography

Benita is the daughter of artist Gwenda Namatjira and great granddaughter of Albert Namatjira. She paints her country both in dot paintings depictions and watercolours. Benita also paints figurative images of her family and their learning of the watercolour painting tradition. Benita is teaching her husband, Ricky Connick the painting skill. She often comes to Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands art centre to learn from the elders and get inspiration from old photographs and stories. 

In her own words: I paint the current and old Namatjira Family and the old days in Hermannsburg. For example, I painted my uncle Kevin Namatjira while he painted his family in Hermannsburg at the Cafe, at the Hermannsburg Precinct. I also painted Lenie Namatjira, my aunty teaching her grandchildren Carissa & Kiara Malthouse at Hermannsburg how to paint in watercolours. I paint stories that I have been told or that I see in pictures from the old days. For instance, how water was sourced from the creek, Western Aranda people were getting water for their families in buckets. I paint people & children from the community painting out bush near the Finke River. I always paint my country in the background, being the West MacDonnell ranges and Mt Hermannsburg.   

‘I paint the current and old Namatjira Family and the old days in Ntaria… I paint stories that I have been told or that I see in pictures from the old days… I always paint my country in the background, being the West MacDonnell ranges and Mt Hermannsburg.’   – Benita Clements  

Special Projects and prizes:

2016          Cicada Press print workshop with Tony Albert, UNSW, Sydney

2019          Burnie Print Prize 2019 (Shortlisted), Tasmania 

Solo exhibitions

  • 2018
    ACCA- Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts, 2018, Melbourne

Group exhibitions

  • 2023
    Arrpmarnintja-Creation from the beginning, Museum of Economic Botany, Tarnanthi Adelaide SA
  • 2023
    Belonging / Tjoritjarinja, Ngununggula Regional Gallery Southern Highlands, Bowral NSW
  • 2023
    Art house Sydney
  • 2022
    Kuprilya Kwatja Etatha, Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary Arts, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • 2022
    Clay on Country, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2022
    One Too Many, Cross Arts Projects
  • 2021
    South Australian Museum
  • 2019
    Tjina Nurna-ka, Pmarra Nurn-kanha, Itla Itla Nurn-kanha (Our family, our country, our legacy), Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide SA
  • 2019
    Pmarra Nurna-Kananhala untha-lapp-urma (Walking through country), Hazelhurst Art centre, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2017
    What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira?, Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide SA
  • 2017
    The extractive frontier: mining for art, Castlemaine, VIC
  • 2016
    Abducted!, Alcaston Gallery, VIC
  • 2016
    The Namatjira Story on Stage and on Country, 107 Projects, Sydney, NSW
  • 2016
    UNALIENABLE, Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery, Sydney, NSW

Collections

  • 2018 Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), SA
  • 2018 Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2016 National Gallery Victoria (NGV), VIC
  • 2015, 2016 National Museum Australia (NMA), ACT
  • 2019 Flinders University Art Museum (FUMA), Adelaide SA
  • 2022 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2023 Powerhouse Museum Sydney NSW