Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Painting titled 'West 'McDonald's' Ranges' by Lenie Namatjira

2016.0030.0007

Painting titled 'West 'McDonald's' Ranges' by Lenie Namatjira

Object information

Description

Of the 'West 'McDonald's' Ranges' series, artist Clara Inkamala states:
"We want to send out [a message] to those people who are selling Coke and Kentucky Fried Chicken to our people. We got so many people in dialysis, with diabetes, heart problem, lung problem and all that, all this grog, they're selling it. Our people are buying these grogs and these foods... We want our people to move back to their country, look after it and live in a good environment instead of here in town, just drinking, too many sugar, lollies and all that. This is telling people we've got bush food out there and healthy ones, instead of Kentucky, fish and chips. This is for our kids, we've got to try to look after the next generation... It's hard to talk to someone to help us, to go up to higher people [in government]. The only way we can do this is through our paintings."

Physical description

A watercolour painting on Hungry Jacks fast food cardboard packaging, featuring a West MacDonnell Ranges landscape, signed 'Lenie Namatjira'. The packaging has white, red and grey colouring, with partial Hungry Jacks logos visible and the text 'JACK'S THE BURGERS ARE BETTER'. Handwritten in pencil on the back is '... memories from WA Roebourne / during our trip ...'.

Statement of significance

The collection consists of 20 works produced by artists at Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre workshops with artist Tony Albert in June 2016, focussing on themes such as health, mining and copyright. The artists at Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre are descendants of Albert Namatjira and his kin, referencing the 'heritage of Namatjira', and working in acrylic, watercolour, pottery, song and film to provide opportunities to keep their culture strong. The Many Hands Art Centre includes established and emerging artists, encouraging exchanges of knowledge and providing teaching for young and new participants.

The first group of works consider copyright for works by Aboriginal artists, especially those by Albert Namatjira. The works consider copyright in its context, as a future concern for the strength of family, community and art practice. In the second group of works, scenes of the West MacDonnell Ranges (Parta Tjurritja) landscape have been painted on to fast food packaging from McDonald's, Hungry Jacks and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), all with the title 'West 'McDonald's' Ranges'. These works associate the health of community and country with diet choices and the history of Aboriginal health following European settlement. Similarly, the third group of works responds to mining activities in the region, highlighting concerns for the environment, caring for country and land rights.

Object information

Back to top