The life and legacy of famous Arrernte painter Albert Namatjira will be celebrated this week with the opening of Namatjira at Southbank Theatre in London.
Nancia Guivarra

18 Nov 2013 - 4:12 PM  UPDATED 18 Nov 2013 - 6:34 PM

Cousins and grandchildren of Albert Namatjira, Lenie and Kevin Namatjira, play a unique role in the travelling show.

In 1954, their grandfather, Australia's first Aboriginal person to be granted citizenship, presented a painting to Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation tour. 

This week, Lenie and Kevin Namatjira will present a new artwork to the British royal family to celebrate the London launch of Namatjira.

The artwork to be presented to Prince Charles and Her Majesty the Queen is by Michelle Malbunka, who designed a postcard reflective of their community’s story.

Actors Derek Lynch and Trevor Jamieson are the stars of the Big Hart production. They tell the story at the front of the stage while the Namatjira cousins quietly complete a huge watercolour painting at the back of the stage.

The painting is crafted in the traditional way of their grandfather, who they both learnt from.

The Namatjira cousins are both art teachers at Hermannsburg Primary School in Ntaria, the former Hermannsburg mission. 

Neither of the pair have been out of Australia before so are looking forward to arriving in London.

Albert Namatjira's contribution to contemporary Aboriginal art lives on through these young people.

The production will open in London on Wednesday and run for three nights.