Tag: Albert Namatjira

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

Chance encounter caused by Melbourne rain makes Indigenous Australian art Big in Japan – and Oz art’s greatest-ever solo success

Aboriginal Art Exhibition in Kanazawa poster.

Fancy guessing the most successful solo exhibition ever given by an Australian artist? Maybe, Sidney Nolan in New York? Tom Roberts in London, perhaps? What about Brett Whiteley in Paris? Nah. Here’s a hint: the artist was indigenous. Ah, well, in that case, it’d have to be Albert Namatjira, right? Nope. Wrong again.
In fact, the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye holds the honor with wildly successful exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka back in 2008. Over 120,000 visited the exhibtion, which featured over 200 works valued at more than $50 million.
Crucial in the success of those exhibitions, as well as prior and subsequent triumphs by contemporary Indigenous Australian artists in Japan, was Mayumi Uchida, a Melbourne-based Aboriginal Art Coordinator.
Uchida came into contact with Indigenous Australian art purely by coincidence back in the 1990s while taking shelter from the rain in Melbourne in a gallery where she was immediately offered a job and introduced to Aboriginal art in the process. She has since become deeply enmeshed in Indigenous Australian culture and art, penning a book in Japanese on her experiences mainly with the community at Utopia, known for its brilliant collection of artists (many of whom didn’t start painting until they were already middle-aged or, as with Emily Kame Kngwarreye, elderly).
Uchida will be running an Indigenous Australian Art Exhibition and Workshop in Kanazawa from next weekend. Accompanying her, and taking part in the workshops will be Barbara Weir, effectively a foster daughter of Emily Kame Kngwarreye and a proficient and accomplished artist in her own right.
Mayumi Uchida website Art Space Land of Dreams (Japanese)

Painting Together with an Aboriginal Artist
Shiinoki Geikinhan
2-1-1 Hirosaka, Kanazawa
Ishikawa Prefecture
Aug. 18, 19, 25 and 26
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Tel. (in Japanese): 076-261-1111

Reference Stories
Emily in Japan
(Emily’s) exhibition in Japan