If you were looking for a sign it was time to drop by the MCA, this is it.
Western Arrernte painter and winner of the 2020 Archibald Prize, Vincent Namatjira, has taken over the MCA’s foyer wall with a 15-metre-long hand-painted mural. The artwork titled P.P.F. (Past-Present-Future) took Namatjira two weeks to complete and is his largest work to date. The painting features characters you know (Adam Goodes, Eddie Koiki Mabo, Lionel Rose) and those you don’t, but have placed a significant part in the life of the painter (his great-grandfather Albert, an Aboriginal stockman who represents male elders from his community, and his late father-in-law).
The group of seven Aboriginal male figures—including a self-portrait of Namatjira himself, standing on the roof of his great-grandfather’s Holden ute, holding an Aboriginal flag and pointing towards the Sydney harbour—stretch the length of the foyer wall, and as its one of the first sights that visitors will see upon entering the museum, sends an important message about ownership of the land upon which the MCA sits.
‘I’m trying to bring my neck of the woods to the city, to the big smoke, for everyone to see,’ Namatjira said of the work. ‘I painted this for the Indigenous people of Australia… I’m proud to be Aboriginal, and to have these Aboriginal male figures in the world makes me happy for our people.’
There’s some incredible shows on at the MCA right now, so make sure you drop by and check out Namatjira’s impressive artwork P.P.F. (Past-Present-Future) while ticking some exhibitions off the list.