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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Hermannsburg Potters

1999
Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 29.1 cm x 43.0 cm)

The settlement of Hermannsburg in the Northern Territory was founded in 1877 by Lutheran missionaries. Between 1894 and 1922, it was under the management of Pastor Carl Strehlow, who devoted himself to improving conditions on the mission. He became an authority on Aranda culture and with his son, Theodor, undertook a comprehensive recording of language and other practices. In addition to religious instruction, the mission fostered education and training, and under Strehlow’s successor, Friedrich Albrecht, the output of craftspeople at Hermannsburg began to be nurtured. Though perhaps best known for the style of watercolour painting developed in the 1930s by Albert Namatjira, since the 1970s the community has also been the site of a thriving pottery business, with Hermannsburg potters having created an equally distinctive tradition in ceramic art.

Depicted in this photograph are (left to right): Carol Panangka Rontji, Judith Pungarta Inkamala, Clara Ngalala Inkamala, Vera Mbitjana Williams, Irene Mbitjana Entata, Lindy Panangka Rontji, Rahel Kngwarria Ungwanaka and Esther Ngala Kennedy

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 53 in 1999)

Carol Panangka Rontji

Esther Ngala Kennedy

Clara Ngala Inkamala

Vera Mbitjana Williams

Irene Mbitjana Entata (age 53 in 1999)

Rahel Kngwarria Ungwanaka (age 53 in 1999)

Lindy Panangka Rontji (age 37 in 1999)

Judith Pungarta Inkamala (age 52 in 1999)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

Of human clay

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

The first collaborative commission has arrived. It's a self portrait, it's ceramic and it's from Hermannsburg.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency