The Design Files

Building New Legacies With The Hermannsburg Potters

Thanks to The Design Files for the recent feature on the Hermannsburg Potters and their exhibition at Bett Gallery in colaboration with Iltja Ntjarra Arts Centre.


View the article online HERE


This is Western Aranda Country and the artists here are famous. In Mparntwe (Alice Springs), the Iltja Ntjarra Arts Centre presides over the legacy of legendary painter Albert Namatjira (the great grandfather of 2021 Archibald Prize winner, Vincent Namatjira), teaching his watercolour techniques and preserving his artistic style. Many of his relatives practise here.


But on the other side of the Macdonnell Ranges in neighbouring Ntaria (Hermannsburg), the celebrated Hermannsburg Potters are forging new artistic traditions. The collective was established in 1992 and has now grown to nearly 20 artists. Every day, the Potters arrive at their studio and set about making art in their own pioneering style.


The artists paint stories of the surrounding Country, community, animals and memories of family onto the surface of their hand-built terracotta pots, topping each piece with a figurative sculpture. The works are vibrant, cheeky, purposeful and original, displaying a deep knowledge of Country, and a playful, vivid view of contemporary desert life.

While the acclaimed works are displayed in cities and galleries all around Australia, this small town in the Central Desert is where they came from.

May 20, 2021