Exhibition "Tjuritja Nana Mara to Paris"

November 6 , 2017 – January 6, 2018, PARIS.

"Tjuritja Nana Mara to Paris"
From our dear Tjuritja (Western MacDonnell Mountains) to Paris
From the good Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges) to Paris

Namatjira Artists of the Iltja Aboriginal Art Center Ntjarra present their watercolors and limited edition wearables inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the central Australian desert.

The Namatjira Artists from the Iltja Ntjarra Art Center present their watercolors and limited editions of wearable art inspired by the magnificent landscapes of their central desert (*)

An exceptional exhibition in France, dedicated to the watercolor painting movement of the central Australian desert, launched in the 1930s by one of Australia's greatest artists, Albert Namatjira (1902-1959).

Curated by IDAIA, in collaboration with artists Ivy Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja, and the Aboriginal art center Iltja Ntjarra.

A project organized in partnership with the Australian Embassy in France, the Australian organization Big hART, and the Australian Aboriginal Film Festival in Paris.





From the hilly and colorful landscapes of the western MacDonnell Mountains, located in the heart of the Arrernte lands in central Australia, to Paris, the exhibition Tjuritja Nana Mara to Paris presents a remarkable selection of works by the Namatjira artists.

Descendants of the painter Albert Namatjira (July 28, 1902 – August 8, 1959), the first Aboriginal artist to truly achieve success in Australia in 1930, contemporary Aboriginal watercolourists perpetuate the pictorial tradition inherited from their ancestor. Initially inspired by Western modes of landscape representation, the watercolors of the Namatjira artists nevertheless differ profoundly from this classical style: they are intrinsically marked by the intimate connection that Albert and his family had – and still have – with the land that they are painting. Thus the creations of the Hermannsburg school have established themselves on the contemporary Australian art scene as authentic artistic explorations.

Conceived with the major artists Ivy Pareroultja and Mervyn Rubuntja, the exhibition offers French visitors the opportunity to (re)discover the work of watercolourists from the central desert, but also to better understand the H/history of the Namatjira artists and their community. It aims to make the French public aware of current issues related to copyrights attached to the works of Aboriginal artists, and more particularly to the dispute surrounding the work of Albert Namatjira: after his death, the rights could not kept by his family, and the latter is now trying to win them back.

The exhibition presents the works of 16 artists, including 25 splendid watercolors as well as a selection of limited edition wearable art, including a magnificent circular skirt and delicate silk scarves. The exhibition of these brilliant works, which reflect the desire of artists to experiment and innovate in their creations, while preserving the strength of their culture and tradition, constitutes a moving testimony to the richness of the heritage of Albert Namatjira. The opening of the exhibition coincides with the release of the new documentary film Namatjira Project . As part of a broad, long-term campaign to support the Namatjira family cause, the film tells the story of iconic Australian artist Albert Namatjira and documents the battle waged by his children, his grandchildren and his community.

A preview screening of the documentary, followed by a panel discussion with Australian Aboriginal artists, scholars and international experts, will be hosted by the Australian Embassy as part of the exhibition opening events.

Organized by IDAIA and Iltja Ntjarra – Many Hands Art Centre, in partnership with the Australian Embassy in France, the exhibition is complemented by a program of activities for the public, educational resources and an exhibition catalog bilingual.




Image caption :

At the top of the page: Peter Tjutjatja Taylor - "Simpsons Gap", 2009 - 17 x 54 cm - Watercolor on paper / Watercolor on paper © The Artist – Courtesy Iltja Ntjarra Art Center

Icon of the exhibition: Lenie Namatjira Lankin - "West MacDonnell Ranges west from Papunya", 2015 - 26 x 36 cm - Watercolor on paper / Watercolor on paper © The Artist – Courtesy Iltja Ntjarra Art Center