British Museum acquires Vincent Namatjira work - Art Collector

Vincent Namatjira, James Cook - with the declaration, 2014. Acrylic on canvas, 101 x 76 cm. Courtesy: the artist, Iwantja Arts and Marshall Arts, Adelaide

The British Museum has announced their acquisition of Vincent Namatjira’s painting James Cook- with the declaration for its permanent collection.

In the work, Namatjira, who is represented by Marshall Arts in Adelaide, presents a personal and witty interpretation of the event that changed the course of Indigenous people’s lives forever, fusing Britain and Australia’s peoples and histories.

The great-grandson of the renowned landscape watercolourist Albert Namatjira, Vincent Namatjira’s practice is an investigatory journey of self-discovery and search for identity. The artist paints the connection between himself and his grandfather’s legacy, creating further dialogue of the Namatjira story: "I hope my grandfather would be quite proud, maybe smiling down on me; because I won’t let him go. I just keep carrying him on, his name and our families’ stories."

In 2013, Vincent Namatjira was a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, the John Fries Memorial Award and the Outback Art Award at Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

Emily Cones-Browne

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