Irene Mbitjana Entata / Arrernte/Luritja people / Australia 1946–2014 / Albert and Rex painting 2003 / 90 x 120.5cm / Synthetic polymer paint on linen / Purchased 2003.  Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Irene Mbitjana Entata

Irene Mbitjana Entata
Albert and Rex painting 2003

Not Currently on Display

Irene Mbitjana Entata is regarded as one of the foremost potters in the Hermannsburg School. She was born at Hermannsburg in 1946 to Rolf Entata, a Luritja/Western Arrernte man, and Millicent Entata, a Walpiri/Luritja woman from Wynparrka. She attended school at Hermannsburg where she did some drawing and plasticine modelling, and recalls watching Albert Namitjira painting.

She first began making pots at Tjamankura with her sister Virginia Rontji in 1990 and became a foundation member of the Hermannsburg Potters. Typically, Hermannsburg pots use the most ancient of pottery techniques, coil-building, and are then smoothed into shape. Irene Entata was a highly dedicated potter and talented animal modeller. Some of the themes she used on her pots were native Australian animals, such as bats, bilbies, ducks, emus, geckos, lizards, mice, parrots, quolls and skinks; introduced animals, such as goats, rabbits, pigs, camels and sheep; exotic animals, such as elephants, reindeers, polar bears, dinosaurs and tropical fish; and native plants including wild blackberries, yams, bush raisins, bush oranges and bush bananas.1 She also painted distinctive landscapes using bold colours with black outlining.


1. Biography based on ‘Hermannsburg potters: now we are working in clay’. MAGNT, Darwin, 1996, unpaginated.