Selma Nunay Coulthard, Noreen Hudson, Clara Inkamala, Reinhold Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamala & Gloria Pannka from Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre (WA)


The Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Arts Centre artists exhibiting at The National are Selma Nunay Coulthard, Noreen Hudson, Clara Inkamala, Reinhold Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamal, and Gloria Pannka.

Referring to Indigenous foods and medicines, senior artist and cultural advisor Mervyn Rubuntja explains, "There’s not much left out there. Not like it used to be in the old days. The waterholes have dried up; the African buffel grass has taken over." Combining the antiquated practice of lumen print photography, camera-less process by which the silhouettes of objects can be traced directly onto light sensitive paper, and their signature watercolour style, Selma Nunay Coulthard, Noreen Hudson, Clara Inkamala, Reinhold Inkamala, Vanessa Inkamala & Gloria Pannka seek to record the Indigenous and non–Indigenous plants found from Jessie Gap in the east to Ntaria in the west. Documenting the changing nature of their locality, these poetic images speak to issues impacting the broader Australian public.

Inquiry questions 

  • Investigate the relationship between the visual elements evident in each work.
  • Describe what is depicted around the border.
  • Describe what is depicted inside the border.
  • Explain the relationship between the two elements.
  • Discuss the significance of incorporating Indigenous and non–Indigenous plants in the lumen print process.
  • The Many Hands Artists’ use of photographic processes differ from that of Bangerang artist Peta Clancy. Explain how each has used the photographic image to explore stories in the landscape?

Creative learning activity

You will need

  • Wooden board
  • A4 sun print paper
  • A5 card
  • Collected objects
  • Glass plates or clear acetate
  • A3 size water container
  • Plastic gloves
  • Graphite pencils
  • Watercolour pencils


  1. Research a contemporary example of environmental degradation. You may consider exploring the Murray–Darling Basin, Great Barrier Reef, Djap Wurrung Trees or Reclaim Kosciusko.
  2. Collect photographs and reference material of this environmental issue. Focus not only on the elements of the environment being impacted, but also the elements causing the issue. This research will provide a source of inspiration for drawing elements further in the activity.
  3. Collect materials/objects that refer to these elements. For example, you might collect a series of soy–sauce fish containers and cotton balls to depict the Murray–Darling Basin.
  4. Place a sheet of A4 sun print paper on a wooden board.
  5. To create a frame in which you will draw, place a sheet of A5 card over the sun print paper. You centre the frame, place it on a diagonal, etc.
  6. Begin to compose your series of objects on the sun print paper.
  7. Once you have composed your print, place a sheet of glass or clear acetate over the top to ensure your objects do not blow away.
  8. Carrying the wooden board, place your print in direct sunlight for approximately 2–3 minutes. If the weather is overcast this may take 5–10 minutes.
  9. Once exposed, remove the glass and A5 sheet of card. With plastic gloves on, place your sun print paper in a water bath.
  10. Lightly agitate the print by rocking the water bath. The print will take approximately 5 minutes to fix.
  11. Once fixed, place on a drying rack.
  12. Whilst waiting for your print to dry, do some preliminary sketches in your diary.
  13. Once dry, produce a watercolour painting of the landscape.


  1. What is the role of photography?
  2. Do photographers have the ability to manipulate reality?
  3. Historically, what has been the relationship between photography and Indigenous Australia?
  4. Why do you think it is important that the Many Hands Arts Centre artists have used photography in their practice?