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Central Australian Birds (Ntaria)

Regular price $650.00

Central Australian Birds (Ntaria) by Anita Ratara Mbitjana of Hermannsburg Potters for Tarnanthi exhibition Yia Ngkarrama (Telling Stories)


Anita Ratara was ‘born bush’ in the alukura (women’s camp) near Hermannsburg in 1943. She is the mother of prominant potter Hayley Coulthard.

She attended the Hermannsburg Mission school, and later went on to work in the clinic, teaching the young mother’s who had children. She also recalls making moccasins, or ‘fancy work’, for the missionaries.

As a young woman, Anita showed natural ability in the arts and crafts, teaching herself to paint from an early age. She recalls being taught pottery by Naomi Sharp in the early 1990s, when the pottery program was located at the outstations. Anita continues today residing mostly at her outstation, Ipalala, today, but travels into the Pottery most days to continue her love of working with clay.

Anita mostly depicts Palm Valley in her work, the home of the Wily Wagtail Dreaming, who turned into a stone in the desert. Palm Valley is Anita’s grandfather’s Country, and she continues to assert her links with her Country through her art. 


The Hermannsburg Potters are a dedicated group of Western Arrarnta artists creating vibrant handmade ceramic pots that encompass collective and individually lived histories in their distinct Country.

The Hermannsburg artists continue a 30-year legacy, sculpting and painting their visual histories and contemporary settings, speaking to their cultural beliefs, traditions and values.

Each artist works with a high level of skill in both hand-building pottery and watercolour-style landscape painting. These dynamic skills allow the artworks to evolve into individual depictions of the artist’s love for the local wildlife, memories of Country, community and traditions, as well as elements of contemporary life.

The vibrant and unique forms are made from terracotta clay working with the hand coil-pinch technique and finally painted with ceramic underglaze. The senior artists work with a style of painting reminiscent of Albert Namatjira, whose legacy continues to inspire the local community and its artists. This playful combination of mediums creates distinct work which had been widely exhibited and collected in Australia and overseas.

The pottery continues today with four longstanding, founding members who are currently mentoring more than 12 emerging artists to continue their work at the Art Centre.The Hermannsburg Potters support the local artists and their families, fostering the growing local economy of Hermannsburg.


Dimensions: H 195 x Dia 150
Material: Decorated Terracotta

Yia Ngkarrama (Telling Stories) is an exhibition that runs from 4 September -  28 November 2021, on display at the Adelaide Railway Station. Any sold work will be sent, or available to collect, after this finishing date.

Due to the handmade nature of the products dimensions may vary on individual pieces.

Purchases from our shops directly support individual artists as well as our unique exhibition and training programs.

Handmade in Australia.