A painter from Indulkana in South Australia’s Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, Vincent Namatjira has established himself as a celebrated portraitist and a subversive chronicler of Australian history. He is an Archibald and Ramsay Art Prize winner, as well as being the great-grandson of the renowned Western Aranda artist Albert Namatjira.
In Going Out Bush the colonial façade of the Art Gallery of South Australia is temporarily relocated to the Central Australian desert. Here, ‘out bush’, the building becomes a stage set for a vibrant and witty series of encounters where the Aboriginal flag takes pride of place and ghost gums grow as AGSA’s new architectural columns.
With wit and humour, Albert Namatjira’s iconic green truck traverses Country, footballers from the local Indulkana Tigers team perform spectacular marks and in a climactic scene, the artist inserts himself in positions of power. He replaces the heads of James Cook and the Queen with his own, presenting an alternative view of Australia’s complex colonial history. In a final gesture of peace and reciprocity, Queen Elizabeth and Vincent exchange bush treats – maku (witchetty grubs) and (tjala) honey ants.
See more of Vincent’s work on display at AGSA in Archie 100: A Century of the Archibald Prize and Facing the collection.
Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of Tarnanthi with Principal Partner BHP and support from the Government of South Australia as part of Illuminate Adelaide.