On Friday, the Namatjira Legacy Trust was formally established at the National Museum of Australia. The museum is pleased to receive Albert Namatjira and the trustees Lenie Namatjira and Gloria Pannka, Clara Inkamala, musician Shelli Morris and the granddaughter of Big hART director Scott Rankin and producer Sophia Marinos, as well as other special guests to celebrate this occasion. The event also marked the official launch of the museum’s Ntaria (Hermansburg) exhibition in the Landmark Gallery.
The Namatjira Legacy Trust aims to raise funds to “provide educational and professional development opportunities for the practice of contemporary indigenous watercolor artists; provide outreach and intergenerational workshops where the elderly can teach young people their crafts and inherit language and cultural traditions; Facilitate national workshops; and assist artists to participate in community, cultural and social activities.” A central focus of this work is efforts to restore the copyright of Albert Namatjira’s works to the Namatjira family.
Big HART producer Sophia Marinos speaks at the Namatjira Legacy Trust conference, (left) Lenie Namatjira and Gloria Pannka. Photograph by Jason McCarthy, National Museum of Australia.
Big hART CEO Scott Rankin said: “The trust hopes to promote the return of the copyright of Albert Namatjira’s works to the family and the community, and seeks to raise funds to support the health, welfare, education and sustainable development of the Namatjira family, and expand the community-ensuring an extraordinary central desert. The watercolor movement will continue for a long time in the future, benefiting future generations.”
As part of the Namatjira project started in 2009, the launch of this trust fund is the result of the collaboration between Big hART and the Namatjira family. The other outcome of the Namatjira project is theatrical production Namagila And a feature documentary Namagila Project, Screened as part of Friday’s release, and premiered later in 2017.
Delwyn Everard, Deputy Director of the Australian Arts Law Centre presided over (left) Lenie Namatjira and Gloria Pannka signing the trust deed. Photograph by Jason McCarthy, National Museum of Australia.
In a speech delivered by Brenda Croft that day, the curator and Arrernte woman Hetti Perkins stated that the establishment of the trust fund represents a “new chapter” in the work story of Albert Namatjira and his family.The trust empowers the Namatjira family membership and board of directors to make its activities and Iltja Ntjarra Multi-Hand Art Center In Alice Springs, proudly own and guide the aboriginal people.
Since 2015, the National Museum has been in dialogue with these artists and community members to develop the history of Ntaria, the mission of Hermannsburg, and Albert Namatjira and his descendants at the Landmark Gallery A new exhibition of works within. The exhibition was installed in July 2016 to coincide with the 114th anniversary of Albert Namatjira’s birth, waiting for the official launch of the visits of Lenie Namatjira, Gloria Pannka and Clara Inkamala.
The Ntaria exhibition formed the backdrop for the Trust’s launch and appropriately showcased the works of four generations of artists from the Namatjira family, as well as the signature of Albert Namatjira’s uncle Abel in the 1924 edition Galtjindinjamea paper: Aranda-Wolambarinjaka,’Religious Guide Book’. The works of Albert Namatjira, his son Oscar Namatjira, granddaughter Lenie Namatijira and great-granddaughter Benita Clements are exhibited together in the exhibition, following the development of this artistic tradition and clearly showing the work of future generations of artists.
Featured image: Signed Albert Namatjira’s house, located on Larapinta Drive near Ntaria (Hermansburg). Photograph by Jason McCarthy, National Museum of Australia.