Hermannsburg Paintings

Hermannsburg watercolour artist of the Namatjira school. Paints exquisite landscapes of Central Australia.


West MacDonnell Ranges by Otto Pareroultja

Otto Pareroultja  |  West MacDonnell Ranges

Jap 012393  |  watercolour on paper  |  24.5 x 15 cm

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Tjuritja – West MacDonnell Ranges by Betty Wheeler Naparula

Betty Wheeler Naparula  |  Tjuritja – West MacDonnell Ranges

Jap 016816  |  watercolour on paper  |  17 x 26 cm

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The Namatjira school of watercolour painting from Central Australia developed as a distinctive style of Aboriginal artwork during the 1930s. 85 years later exponents of the Hermannsburg style carry on the tradition, with most artists being direct descendants of the original group of artists who formed around Albert Namatjira. The exhibition is presented in association with Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre.

One of Australia’s most recognised Aboriginal artists’ traditions is the watercolour landscape paintings of Hermannsburg in Central Australia. Eighty five years after Albert Namatjira first encountered watercolour painting at the mission at Hermannsburg, his descendants continue the tradition that record many of the amazing locations in the MacDonnell Ranges.

For most Australians these landscape painters were the first introduction to the environment and the Aboriginal custodians of Central Australia. The experience was often one of amazement at the beauty and drama of the landscape, which is often thought of as being desert country. Albert Namatjira became an iconic Australian artist at a time when few other Aboriginal artists were seen in the media or in art galleries.

Today the artists cluster at the art centre Iltja Ntjarra, where the legacy of Albert is merged with access for artists to new techniques and materials. The exhibition includes the latest generations of painters – Ivy Pareroultja, Hubert Pareroultja, Vanessa Inkamala, Gloria Pannka and Betty Wheeler Napurula. Older works are on show from generations now passed, artists include Keith Namatjira, Otto Pareroultja, Ewald Namatjira, Joshua Ebatarinja and Gabriel Namatjira. The exhibition includes paintings on silk and will be on display at Japingka from 14 February to 25 March 2020. Artworks are presented in association with Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre.