Posted by: nancycurteman | April 6, 2010

Albert Namatijira: Aboriginal Painter

Albert Namatjira of the Arrernte tribe is Australia’s best-known Aboriginal painter. He used watercolors to paint Australian Outback desert landscapes. His use of strong contrasting colors was one of his unique strategies for adding drama to his landscapes.  He departed from the traditional Aboriginal art forms that used symbols, lines, curves, and dots. Although he received some criticism for not adhering to the Aboriginal style, he went on to paint and sell a couple thousand paintings. Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the Queen’s Coronation medal in 1953 for his remarkable art.


  1. Interesting, as always. I would have liked to see a sample included, however!


  2. It makes me so angry when the government throws money at these communities and buys them western-style housing. The aborigines consume copious amounts of alcohol and use their suburban type housing in a way that is functional: namely in burning cupboards and hanging up dead animals, as is their custom. It breaks my heart, but if the government provided functional dwellings etc., they’d be lambasted in the media for providing ‘dog shelters’ or something to that end. The people should be provided with what they need and will use. Not thrown urbane ‘gifts from heaven’ from educated bourgeoise sycophants with a penchant for indigenous culture.

    Do you know any of these types?


    • Interesting comment. I’d be interested in hearing more of your views relating to the Aborigines.


  3. Having traveled extensively, myself (including Austalia – Sydney to NW Cape[Exmouth]), I also found Rock the Boat’s comment interesting. However, white Australians drink copious amounts of alcohol as well…and blacks…asians…hispanics..etc. And the point is: Albert’s work is superb.


    • I’d really like to hear from some other Australians on this topic of the condition and treatment of the aborigines.


    • Indigenous societies around the world are prone to alcoholism at a ‘per capita’ rate that far outweighs that of a Western or civilised society. Although I am somewhat uninformed in this matter; I have also heard that the biological make-up of the Australian aboriginal is susceptible to alcohol, due in part to their metabolism not having, say at least 500 years of physical exposure (pre-colonial intervention) unlike other cultures that have used alcohol for this amount of time and longer.


      • Hey Kid Koala, Check out my newest post. You’ll find some interesting research-based information on Aboriginals and alcohol.


  4. […] Albert Namatijira: Aboriginal Painter […]


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