NPR : News

Filed Under:

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

"Namatjira [who died in 1959] is credited with bringing the native trees — which are featured in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and named for their white bark that glows in moonlight — to wider public consciousness as a symbol of Australian identity."

Susan McCulloch, author of The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, tells The Sydney Morning Herald that the destruction of the trees is an "appalling and a tragic act of cultural vandalism."

As the Herald writes, "Namatjira is one of Australia's best-known artists, his vivid watercolors bringing his deep familiarity with the desert into the lounge rooms of middle Australia, particularly the lands around the West MacDonnell Ranges, for which he was a traditional custodian. Rather than paint the desert as the dead heart, which painters such as Sidney Nolan did, Namatjira presented it as luminous with engaging individual qualities; he enabled the viewer to see the center as a multi-faceted region of Australia."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

National Museum of African American History Opens Its Doors

More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.
NPR

While Everyone Was Partying At Woodstock, I Was Stuck At Schrafft's

The chain restaurant that catered to women helped redefine how Americans eat, according to a new book. For NPR's Lynn Neary, it also defined how she did and didn't fit with the counterculture.
NPR

Hillary Clinton's Plan For America's Students

In advance of the first debate, a rundown of the Democratic presidential candidate's positions.
NPR

As Our Jobs Are Automated, Some Say We'll Need A Guaranteed Basic Income

How will the economy provide economic opportunities if employers need fewer workers in the future? A growing number of people in Silicon Valley are saying the only realistic answer is a basic income.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.