Hermannsburg Potters has developed a niche market for their pottery. Their pottery supports the local artists and their families and supports the growing local economy of Hermannsburg. Their pottery has been exhibited and collected within Australia and abroad for the past 25 Years.
About Artist Practice
The Hermannsburg Potters are a group of Western Arrarnta artists working in the hand-coil and pinch technique, using terracotta clay to create their artworks. The artists build small and large terracotta pots which often feature an iconic sculptural lid referencing elements or characters in the painted body of their pots. The artists use a vibrant palette of ceramic underglaze to depict their Western Arrarnta landscape, flora and fauna, contemporary community life, family, traditions and histories.
Hermannsburg Potters has developed a niche market for their pottery. Their pottery supports the local artists and their families and supports the growing local economy of Hermannsburg. Their pottery has been exhibited and collected within Australia and abroad. The Hermannsburg Potters are a close group of Western Arrarnta artists who are renowned for their pottery across the globe. The pottery is recognised for its unique forms and depiction of distinct Western Arrarnta Country, culture and values.
The Hermannsburg Potters is recognised by the Indigenous Art Code as an ethical dealer of Indigenous art. Hermannsburg Potters primarily work within the fine art market. The Hermannsburg Potters provide a space where people can develop economic independence, professional arts employment opportunities and practice creative expression.
The Centre is a model for other Indigenous enterprises, as it has developed and expanded in quality of product, reputation and financial sustainability through the efforts of the Aboriginal artists.
The Hermannsburg Potters developed in 1990 from an initial 18-week training course held at the outstations/homelands surrounding Ntaria, by ceramic tutor Naomi Sharp, with funding from NT Open College. Following financially successful exhibitions, the training program was then extended for a further two years. In 1992, the then ATSIC approved Aboriginal enterprise development funding, and the artists decided to incorporate and acquired a small building attached to the Ntaria School in the township of Ntaria, from where they still operate. The Hermannsburg Potters have since become internationally renowned for their artworks, holding over 130 exhibitions during their 30-year history, with works held in public and private collections, both nationally and internationally.
In this time, their art practice has expanded to include mosaic, ceramic relief murals, acrylic landscape paintings, sgraffito pottery and slab-building sculpture, all of which are now found in significant national institutions. Despite this diversity, they continue to remain renowned for their unique style of pottery: terracotta sculptures, decorated with pictorial under glazing, which tell stories of Western Arrarnta Country and culture.
The Hermannsburg Potters have made a major contribution to Australian art: they have won major national awards, including the 3D Telstra Art Award and the Shepparton Indigenous Ceramics Art Award, and have been commissioned for over 20 public artworks. Over 20 publications have been produced about the group, including the definitive work, ‘Hermannsburg Potters Aranda Artists of Central Australia’ by Jenny Isaacs, published by Craftsman House in 2000.
Delrose Armstrong painting 2019 photo by Hermannsburg Potters
Art Centre Gallery and studio
Located to the right of the Finke Mission Store.
The Hermannsburg Potters welcome visitors to their onsite gallery by appointment only: as the artists often travel outside of the community for workshops, exhibitions and other projects they request that all visitors contact the art centre with intended visiting time to ensure the art centre is open.
Visits can be arranged Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm.