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Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art Hermannsburg School

Albert Namatjira was the first Aboriginal artist to be recognised within a wider Western art tradition. His watercolours have become synonymous with central Australia. For Namatjira, they expressed a deep relationship with the Arrarnta country for which he was a traditional custodian.

At the Hermannsburg Mission, Namatjira initially produced craftwork for the local tourist market. He learnt watercolour painting from visiting European artists in 1936 and had his first solo exhibition two years later.

Namatjira taught the watercolour technique to his children and other members of the community, who have continued painting in this style at Hermannsburg to this day. More recently, a narrative tradition in ceramics has also developed which portrays past and recent local history.