The spirit of partnership helps Namatjira painters stay at the top of their game. From Monday the 8th of April, ten of the contemporary Western Arrente watercolour artists,
represented by Ngurratjuta Many Hands Art, will experience a week of personalised workshops and presentations to help them know their market, and keep producing high
In response to the artists’ expressing desires for professional and market development opportunities, this initiative is the first in a series facilitated by Big hART’s Namatjira Project.
According to Associate Producer Cecily Hardy, this initiative has relied on inspired partnerships with Ngurratjuta Many Hands Art, and Talapi Gallery. Talapi Gallery owner Kate Podger, who has a long affinity with these descendants of the iconic Australian painter Albert Namatjira, will facilitate discussions with the artists this week. She commented saying “The unique desert country of Australia’s interior is made real by these gifted watercolour artist who have individual careers in their own right. This project aims to build on the strengths of these talented artists to prepare an exciting body of work “. This sentiment was echoed by Ngurratjuta’s Iris Bendor who agreed that through good times and bad, the Namatjira and Western Arrernte watercolour painting movement has always managed to survive. Now, it is just as important as ever to keep this piece of our national culture alive and thriving.
Desert Park is getting behind these artists in the support of their artistic pursuits; it is the new home of their Ngurratjuta Many Hands Art, and will be the venue for the special week of presentations and workshops starting on Monday. Lenie Namatjira, granddaughter of Albert Namatjira said “I am looking forward to next week, to paint and talk about our painting all together”. With artists travelling in from places like Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and Docker River to attend, it is looking like a significant gathering of some of the most skilled watercolourists in the country.
Cecily from the Namatjira Project said “Everyone’s come together with us on this because we all want to support these artists to do what they do. They, like any professional artists, relish the opportunity to gain insight into what the market is saying. They can digest that information and then do what they think is right for their own work. Hopefully it’s a chance for selfimprovement as well as teaching and learning from each other”. The artists will be doing some special new works, and while the week has been shaped as an intimate gathering just for them, the works they create will be able to be seen in exhibition at Talapi Gallery in May. Through Ngurratjuta Art and Gifts general public can also go and meet some of the artists on Mondays and Thursdays at Desert Park from the 15th of April.