Namatjira Legacy Torched! 豪画界の重要な自然遺産が放火で破壊される

Ghost gum trees depicted by Albert Namatjira

Ghost gum trees depicted by Albert Namatjira

 豪ノーザン・テリトリー州にある重要な自然遺産として認められつつあった有名なユーカリ林がこの頃放火で全焼された、と豪各大手マスコミ社が4日付報道した。
Ghost gums on the verge of being recognized as part of the Northern Territory’s heritage have been destroyed by arson, according to various mainstream Australian media reports on Jan. 4.
 このユーカリ林はゴースト・ガムと呼ばれている木であり、初めて国際的に認められ有名となった豪先住民画家故アルバート・ナマトジラ氏が描いた木だった。
These eucalyptus trees had come to prominence after being painted by Albert Namatjira, the first indigenous Australian artist to achieve widespread global recognition.
 焼かれた林は、同州自然文化財を認可する寸前だったようだが、この数日間以内に放火された。動機など同州当局が捜査中だという。
The torched trees were apparently about to be recognized as an important part of the state’s heritage, but were burned to the ground some days ago. Northern Territory authorities are investigating the motives into the arson attack.
 ナマトジラ氏が活躍した時代オーストラリアが先住民を「国民」として認めていなかったが、描いたオーストラリアの風景が世界中に高く評価された。同氏の絵にはこのゴースト・ガムが主体となったものが多かった。
Namatjira was active and his work recognized globally at a time when Australia did not even recognize its indigenous populations as citizens of the country. Many of his works featured ghost gums.
Albert Namatjira

Albert Namatjira

 同氏が悲劇的な人生を送った。生まれた1902年では、先住民全員が国家被保護者として扱われ、1967年の国民投票で市民権が与えられるまで「2級国民」まで位置づけにも及ばなかった。にも関わらず、ナマトジラ氏の絵が国内では1930年代以降認められるようになり、徐々に国際的に評価されるようになった。そこから、同氏が裕福となり、得た収入のほとんどを自身が所属する部族に使った。しかし、本人を含めて部族の多くがアルコール依存症に病んで1959年に若き57歳で貧困で亡くなった。
Namatjira lived a tragic life. When he was born in 1902, indigenous Australians were all wards of the state, and they would not even be regarded as “second-class citizens” until voters “deigned” to give them that status in a 1967 referendum (that came too late for Namatjira, although he had been granted rights akin to the average white Australian upon achieving wealth and global fame in the 1950s). Namatjira first attracted attention within Australia in the 1930s and his renown gradually spread across the world. He subsequently became wealthy, but used nearly all his money to support members of the Arranda tribe to which he belonged. Unfortunately, Namatjira, like many of his fellow tribe members, was an alcoholic and died impoverished in 1959 at a tragically young 57.

Ghost gums that inspired great art felled by fire

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