Namatjira—Southbank Centre

Trevor Jamieson tells the story of Australia’s celebrated Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.

This award-winning theatre and visual arts performance is presented to coincide with the Royal Academy’s exhibition Australia, which seeks to uncover the social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art.

There is no more potent story in the history of Australian art than that of Albert Namatjira.

Namatjira brought the Australian desert landscape to the world for the first time with his unique watercolour style. At the height of his fame, his shows sold out within minutes. He painted for the Queen, and was the first Australian Aboriginal to be made a legal citizen of his own country.

He supported over 600 members of his community, lost two of his ten children to malnutrition, was forbidden to own land, made an example of, imprisoned for something he didn’t do—and died a broken man.

Half a century after his death, the charismatic performer Trevor Jamieson, Australia’s leading Aboriginal actor, retells Namatjira’s extraordinary life onstage, and is joined by some of his descendants—third-generation watercolour artists—who will fill Purcell Room with a huge chalk drawing of Namatjira’s desert country.

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