Stand Strong For Who You Are – Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, Australia

We share some similar stories and experiences – of disconnection from culture, language and country, and the constant pressures of being an Aboriginal man in this country – said Vincent Namatjira, an indigenous Aboriginal artist.

Vincent Namatjira claimed The Archibald Prize 2020 Winner, the Australia’s most prestigious art prize on Friday, September 25th – for an acrylic painting of himself and Adam Goodes, a champion Aboriginal Australian Rules footballer in AFL titled “Stand Strong for who you are” – it was chosen by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

To introduce: Painter Vincent Namatjira - Archibald Prize 2020. Image by: Iwatja Art. To introduce: painting of Vincent Namatjira-Just not Australian touring in Tweed Gallery. Image in This Is No Fantasy

He becomes the first Aboriginal painter won the portraiture competition since its inception 99 years ago. He is a descendent of renowned watercolourist, Albert Namatjira, a pioneer of contemporary Indigenous Australian art in his generation – known with his famous landscape paintings.

“To be the first Aboriginal artist to win is really special. I feel like this is a very important moment in Australian art,” said Namatjira, who is also the member of Western Arrernte community from central Australia.

His co-subject Adam Goodes, a former Australian Football League (AFL), took an early retirement in 2015 following persistent racial abuse from fans during games. In 2019, he shared his experience reignited public conversations about racism in Australia in a documentary, called “The Final Quarter” was made about Adam’s final season in the AFL. 
“When I saw the documentary… my guts were churning as I relived Adam’s experiences of relentless racism on and off the field. Memories of my own experiences were stirred up,” Namatjira said.

Vincent Namatjira, who has been growing in renown in the art world over the past five years, showing at the prestigious Art Basel in Miami in 2018, winning the 2019 Ramsay art prize, and receiving an Order of Australia in 2020.


For more information about Vincent Namatjira:  Visit Art Gallery NSW for the Vincent Namatjira ‘s biography and collection.

Source: Vincent Namatjira’s ‘cheeky revenge’: the Archibald prize winner’s past work – in pictures — Archibald: Vincent Namatjira named art prize’s first Aboriginal winner — Aboriginal artist Namatjira wins Australia’s most prestigious prizeThis is no fantasy: Vincent Namatjira — Art Gallery NSW: Albert Namatjira.