THE HERMANNSBURG POTTERS are a dedicated group of Western Arrarnta artists creating vibrant handmade ceramic pots that encompass collective and individually lived histories in their distinct Country.
The Hermannsburg artists continue a 30-year legacy, sculpting and painting their visual histories and contemporary settings, speaking to their cultural beliefs, traditions and values.
Each artist works with a high level of skill in both hand-building pottery and watercolour-style landscape painting. These dynamic skills allow the artworks to evolve into individual depictions of the artist’s love for the local wildlife, memories of Country, community and traditions, as well as elements of contemporary life.
The vibrant and unique forms are made from terracotta clay working with the hand coil-pinch technique and finally painted with ceramic underglaze. The senior artists work with a style of painting reminiscent of Albert Namatjira, whose legacy continues to inspire the local community and its artists. This playful combination of mediums creates distinct work which had been widely exhibited and collected in Australia and overseas.
The pottery continues today with four longstanding, founding members who are currently mentoring more than 12 emerging artists to continue their work at the Art Centre.The Hermannsburg Potters support the local artists and their families, fostering the growing local economy of Hermannsburg.
Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre is proudly Aboriginal owned and directed. It is the home of the Namatjira watercolour artists. The Art Centre was established by Ngurratjuta/Pmara Ntjarra Aboriginal Corporation and started operating in 2004, as a not-for-profit Art Centre to provide a place for Arrernte Artists to come together to paint, share and learn new techniques and ideas. The Art Centre is strongly committed to improving economic participation of Aboriginal people and maintaining cultural heritage.
Iltja Ntjarra has a special focus on supporting the ‘Hermannsburg School’ style watercolour artists, who continue to paint in the tradition of their grandfather and relative, Albert Namatjira, arguably one of Australia’s most famous artists of the 20th century. Albert Namatjira taught his children to follow in his unique style, who have since passed this knowledge on to their children, which has resonated in a legacy of watercolour artists in the Central Desert region. By continuing his legacy, these artists sustain an important piece of living history.