Drawing inspiration from the Western Aranda people of the Central Australian Desert and their magnificent country, Big hART have developed The Namatjira Project. A diverse arts project that celebrates the life and work of acclaimed watercolour artist, Albert Namatjira.

With funding from the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, the project brought to life the Namatjira Professional Development Program during a two year period. This initiative saw two phases of creative development starting with a series of masterclass artist workshops. These workshops were designed to develop skills of local artists while staying true to Namatjira watercolour traditions of taking inspiration from the land and painting ‘on country’, coupled with teachings in practical art industry practice.

Reflecting on the masterclass workshop ‘on country’, artist Alison Hannaford said, “There is something about being immersed in, surrounded by, part of the country that a photograph cannot capture.  It is seeing the light shift and the shadows change.”

The second phase of the project saw the senior artists transferring their rich knowledge to students of Ntaria School through a series of watercolour painting workshops.

This successful program has seen a real and lasting benefit for the Namatjira family and Western Aranda communities, equipping artists with tools to develop their career as artists and passing on their passion to a new generation of Indigenous Australian creators.

Find out more about The Namatjira Project here.

Current Cultural Fund applications close on 26 February, 2016, find out more or apply here.

Photos courtesy of Big hART.