Untitled, from the series Mparra Karrti - Us mob belong to the Country
Clara Inkamala paints her Country around Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Untitled, Mparra Karrti - Us mob belong to the Country 2018 was made in response to the conjecture that photographs originally credited to the artist Rex Battarbee, who painted with Albert Namatjira in Ntaria, may have been taken by Namatjira. The artists at Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre embraced this speculation by introducing photographic techniques into their painting practices.
This camera-less lumen photogram presented here is a depiction of the landscape made with the landscape. To produce this lumen print, plant matter was arranged on photosensitive paper before it was exposed to sunlight and fixed in a makeshift darkroom. The prints turn their subjects into spectral silhouettes, trace markings of the land itself.
The plants used came from Country – the same Country painted alongside and atop of the prints. Included are bush medicine and foods that are slowly disappearing from the landscape, threatened by industry and introduced species. The land that Namatjira painted, and the land Inkamala knew as a child has changed dramatically. Knowing this, we can see the spectral shapes formed through contact with the land – already ghostly, almost gone – as painfully prophetic.
lumen print, watercolour
50.0 x 60.0 cm
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors group 2019
© Clara Inkamala