Many Hands, Home of the Namatjira Artists

Group Exhibition

10 October — 20 October 2017

Masterpieces from Iltja Ntjarra, Many Hands Art Centre,
Home of the Namatjira Artists

Albert Namatjira was a Western Arrernte-speaking Aboriginal artist from Central Australia. He was born and raised at the Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission, 125 km west southwest of Alice Springs.

Namatjira showed an interest in art and under the tutelage of Rex Battarbee, began to paint in a western style—detailed scenes of gum trees and the rugged geological features of the MacDonnell Ranges, Palm Valley and the landscape he was familiar with.

He became an extremely successful watercolour artist who had numerous sell-out solo exhibitions in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. These exhibitions not only generated an income for the artist, they also created enormous bureaucratic and cultural problems. Namatjira was a great man caught between two very different cultures. He was forced to pay income tax while being denied the normal privileges of an Australian citizen— no Aboriginal was allowed to travel interstate without a permit and he could consume alcohol himself but could not share a drink with his immediate or extended family. In Aboriginal culture everything is shared between family members hence he was frequently insolvent despite his large income—all money earned went to buying provisions for his family and the large number of tribal relatives. Ironically, Albert Namatjira’s last resting place, Alice Springs, was the place in which he was not allowed to buy a house during his life.

Albert Namatjira did leave a legacy and a style of painting known as the ‘Hermannsburg School’ which continues to the present day. His work is in the collections of most major Australian galleries.

Iltja Ntjarra, Many Hands Art Centre has a special focus on supporting the ‘Hermannsburg School’ style watercolour artists, who continue to paint in the tradition of their grandfather and relative, Albert Namatjira—arguably one of Australia’s most famous artists of the 20th century. Namatjira taught his children to follow in his unique style. They have since passed this knowledge on to their children, which has resulted in the legacy of watercolour artists in the Central Desert region. By continuing his legacy, these artists sustain an important piece of living history. 1

This new exhibition at Nanda\Hobbs Gallery includes six large paintings, all measuring 182cm x 244cm. The scale of these works has never been attempted before. Each is a museum quality masterpiece.

Ken McGregor, 2017 

1Iltja Ntjarra, many Hands Art Centre website

\ Exhibition featured works

Kevin Namatjira

Gum Tree (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Watercolour on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Reinhold Inkamala

Rwetyepme (Mt Sonder, NT)

2016 \ Acrylic on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Elton Wirri

Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Watercolour on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Gloria Pannka

Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Acrylic on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Hubert Pareroultja

Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Watercolour on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Mervyn Rubuntja

Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Acrylic on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

Reinhold Inkamala

\ Installation photo

\ Other exhibitions

Paul Ryan

The Colonies

26 October — 11 November 2017

Anthony Lister

Homeless Among the Gum Trees

13 September — 6 October 2017

Zoë MacDonell

Stealing fire

3 August — 18 August 2017

Contact Us

to find out more about Many Hands, Home of the Namatjira Artists.

Level 1 66 King Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday Or by appointment *From 26 October, 2017 our new gallery address will be 12-14 Meagher Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008