Cook's Story (timeline)
acrylic on canvas
51 x 36 cm each (7 works together 252 cm)
Van Ahnholt Collection
© The artist and Iwantja Arts
In Cook’s Timeline Vincent has painted a suite of small canvases which act as painterly investigations into the life and travels of Captain Cook as an explorer and adventurer. Personal life and marriage, travelling across vast oceans, first contact with Aboriginal people, and forging long term friendships with Indigenous people are placed in staccato between formally painted portraits of Cook at various points of reflection in life.
Vincent says: ‘When I’m painting I just think about how to make the story work, what I want to show, and I hope that it’s a good one. I enjoy painting; it occupies me, it keeps me thinking and looking all the time. I hope my grandfather would be quite proud. I keep carrying him on – his name and our family’s stories.’
Born: 1983 Alice Springs NT
Aranda, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara language groups
Art Centre: Iwantja Arts, Indulkana SA
Vincent Namatjira was born in Alice Springs, then went with his sister to live in Perth at the age of seven after his mother passed away. He returned to Ntaria (Hermannsburg) as an adult to reconnect with family. He later moved to Indulkana in the APY Lands where he paints at Iwantja Arts centre, after marrying his wife Natasha, an artist and the daughter of fellow artist Jimmy Pompey.
Vincent’s imagery calls on Australia’s colonial history, with recurring references to Captain Cook and the Queen. His observational works also chart his personal history and pay tribute to his great grandfather, Albert Namatjira, a renowned watercolourist well known for his iconic images of Central Australia.