Posted on March 12, 2014 - by Yolande
When the Namatjira project first began in 2009, we asked the Namatjira family what they wanted us to help them achieve during our time working together. Most important to them was teaching the young ones to paint, keeping this fragile but iconic art movement alive.
Since that time we have been working closely with Ntaria School and Ngurratjuta Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre, to facilitate workshops and mentoring between the 3rd generation watercolourists and the newest, 5th generation of artists, through workshops on country and at the school. Previously, the work of the younger generation of artists was virtually non-existent. Five years on, with Araluen Arts Centre, we launched Five Generations: The Strength of Namatjiraâ€™s Legacy.
Five Generations opened on the 1st of March 2014 to a packed room at Araluen, as full of art makers as it was art lovers. We were joined by Lenie Namatjira, Gloria Pannka (3rd generation artists), Semra Williams from Ntaria School and Namatjira aficionado Alison French, with the exhibition was officially opened by Alison Anderson, member for Namatjira.
The walls of the prestigious Araluen Arts Centre were filled with works by new generations of watercolour artists, beautifully curated by Stephen Williams, to show off family connections and a brilliant diversity of styles from the 1930s through to the present day.
This moment was made all the more special by the return to Alice Springs of Albertâ€™s final painting, generously gifted to Araluen by Judith King, returning the work all the way from Tasmania to Alice. Here it will be enjoyed by the Namatjira family, along with the broader Alice Springs community and general public.
A huge, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been involved in the development and execution of both the Five Generations exhibition and the Namatjira project to date. In particular thank you to Ntaria school for their dedication in fostering the Namatjira legacy for future generations of watercolour artists.
If you werenâ€™t able make it to Alice Springs,Â check out the media coverage of the show, andÂ take a look at some photos from opening night, thanks to Alice Springs News.