In November 2013 Big hART has been invited to present the Namatjira theatre show, accompanied by an exhibition of contemporary watercolours, at the Southbank Centre in London. This invitation, coupled with an offer of partnership from the London Royal Academy of Art, is of huge significance for this project, and particularly for the Namatjira family and their Central Australian desert communities.
The Namatjira project has been working in the Central Australian desert since 2009, on a capacity building cultural project aimed at bringing new opportunities and benefits to this family and community. The project has involved the creation of a new Australian theatrical work about the life of internationally acclaimed Aboriginal watercolour painter Albert Namatjira, accompanying contemporary watercolour exhibitions by his direct descendants, the development of a documentary, an iPhone/iPad app, touring master-classes, a schools program, social policy seminars, choir and show CDs, a published script, and an online and social media campaign.
COINS Foundation is pleased to be able lend its support to such an impressive show and collaborate with Big hART: an award winning company using the arts to work towards social justice.
Namatjira – The theatre show
The Award winning Namatjira depicts the life story of iconic, Australian artist Albert Namatjira. At the height of his fame, Albert Namatjira’s exhibitions sold out within minutes. He spoke 3 languages, painted for the Queen of England, and was the first Australian Aboriginal to be made a legal citizen of his own country. In Namatjira, the rich watercolours of the Australian Desert are transformed into a monumental theatrical event. This show provides a unique insight into Australia’s history as well as contemporary relations with indigenous people, and has the capacity to touch hearts on a global scale.
Namatjira is a night of almost perfect theatre – beautiful, poignant, gently comic and utterly engagingSunday Herald Sun