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 |