Namatjira the Painter (1947)
Australian contemporary art has no more interesting tale to tell than that of Aboriginal watercolour artist, Albert Namatjira. Namatjira was thirty years old before his hand first held a paintbrush. In about 1934 Rex Battarbee, a well-known Australian artist, visited Hermannsberg mission near Alice Springs. He took with him into the field as cook and general assistant the Arunta tribesman, Namatjira. This film tells the story of Namatjira’s preoccupation with Battarbee’s work, how he was determined to learn to paint and how Battarbee, realising the talent of his friend and assistant, taught him the elements of his craft. Today Namatjira’s watercolours sell for high prices. Despite controversy, the power of Namatjira’s rendering of his beloved ancestral land is not denied. Throughout his life and despite his success, he remained in the bush with his people and his paints. In this film, we see Albert Namatjira at work in the glowing country that he knows so well.
This is the 1947 film re-edited by Lee Robinson Read More »