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Vincent Namatjira - Vincent Namatjira

Vincent Namatjira

By: Vincent Namatjira, Art Gallery of South Australia (Contribution by)

Hardcover | 31 October 2023

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'Welcome to the past, present and future. I stand side-by-side with my great-grandfather, who I never met - two painters from the centre of this country, standing up and making our voices heard. I believe in the power of art, the power of the paintbrush. I know that art can change lives. It changed mine and I hope that art can change the world too.'

Vincent Namatjira is an astute observer of life, of power, of popular culture. To be in the presence of a Vincent Namatjira painting is like being on the edge of a portal into another world. From the first page of this monograph, Vincent takes us on a journey through his artwork, contextualising his iconic series on Indigenous soldiers, Indigenous leaders, power and the Royal Family, giving us an insight into his world view.

The book includes essays by Lisa Slade, Nici Cumpston and Gloria Strzelecki from AGSA, by Bruce Johnson McLean from NGA and by Vincent's great friends and artistic collaborators Ben Quilty and Tony Albert but, most importantly, it is Vincent's voice as much as his artwork that resonates in high definition on the page.

About the Author

Vincent Namatjira was born in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Northern Territory, and his early years were spent between Mparntwe and Ntaria (Hermannsburg). He is the great-grandson of renowned Western Aranda watercolourist Albert Namatjira, and has forged his own path by establishing himself as a witty and subversive portraitist. Since 2013, Vincent has been painting portraits of important figures, both personally familiar and famously political, with his paintings offering a wry look at the politics of history, power and leadership from a contemporary Aboriginal perspective. Since 2011 Vincent has been painting at Iwantja Arts in South Australia's Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

Vincent was the winner of the 2019 Ramsay Art Prize at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In 2020 he was the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2020 in honour of his contribution to Indigenous visual arts. He has been a finalist in many major art prizes including the John Fries Award, the National Self-Portrait Prize and the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

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