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

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.
These eucalyptus trees had come to prominence after being painted by Albert Namatjira, the first indigenous Australian artist to achieve widespread global recognition.
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.
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

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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