Albert Namatjira’s Ghosts

My favourite Albert Namatjira’s paintings are the Ghosts Gum watercolours.

Many people liked Albert’s work although the important Gallery Directors saw the paintings as potboilers.

Well, I must like potboilers because I think Namatjira’s Ghost Gums are wonderful.

But I need to acknowledge Rex Battarbee’s influence. From what I’ve read he seemed like a very nice man and in effect his artistic impetus was usurped by Namatjira’s fame.

Here are a couple of Battarbee’s Ghosts from the Seeing The Centre, The art of Albert Namatjira 1902-1959 catalogue.


| Rex Battarbee; Left – Gum trees in the Finke River valley on the way to Palm Valley, 1946; Right – Ghost gums, 1948 |

And Albert’s Ghost.

|Albert Namatjira, Ghost gum, c 1945-53 |

Beautiful photo of Rex Battarbee taken by Rennie Ellis in the 1970s.

| Rex Battarbee photo by Rennie Ellis, c1970 |

Julia Ritson

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