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Ursula Tunks, Aunty Merrill Namatjira and Aunty Irene Daley at the official hand over of the three Namatjira family paintings, on Saturday. Image: Contributed

Namatjira paintings return home

| Lynne Mowbray

A hand over of three paintings with links to famous Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira, took place on Saturday at South Grafton.

Early last year, the paintings were gifted to a South Grafton Op Shop, with President/Manager of The Mend & Make Do Crew Inc. Ursula Tunks, setting her sights on returning the paintings to their original owners.

On Saturday, the three Namatjira family paintings were handed over to the granddaughter of Albert Namatjira, Aunty Merrill Namatjira to go to the Namatjira Legacy Trust. The paintings are by Claude Pannka (son-in-law to Albert), Ewald Namatjira (Albert’s son – Merrill’s father) and Keith Namatjira (also Albert’s son).

Aunty Irene Daley officiated at the hand over and gave the Welcome to Country and presented the paintings to Aunty Merrill on behalf of the community. The paintings will return with Merrill to Alice Springs, where the Trust has recently completed a purpose built art storage facility.

Ms Tunks said that Aunty Merrill told her that many of the Namatjira family will be waiting for her in Alice Springs when she brings the paintings home and that they are all very excited!

“Merrill also told me that her Aunty Isobel, (Keith Namatjira’s wife), is still alive and full of beans and so very happy that her husband’s painting is coming home to family,” Ms Tunks said.