Seeing the centre
The art of Albert Namatjira 1902–1959

Introduction | Discoveries | Light | Transformations | Animate | Sights | Intimate | Saplings | Looking | Bibliography | Gallery of works

Discoveries: depicting his world

Albert Namatjira's reputation rests on his landscapes. His paintings of other subjects are not so well known. Recent discoveries reveal that, particularly during the early years of his career, he produced portraits, scenes of daily life, animals and buildings, all of which are either integrated into, or juxtaposed against, the land. However, this type of imagery never became a major interest but enabled him to experiment and explore different mediums, techniques and forms. Their naive charm lies in keen observation and expressive power. In these works, we sense Namatjira discovering ways to depict the world around him.

Albert Namatjira Wildlife near the Gosse Range 1939 Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Battarbee Collection, Darwin

Banner: Albert Namatjira Mount Sonder, MacDonnell Ranges c 1957-59 (detail) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra