Click on an area to read more information and see examples of the art they inspired and the artists who created it.
Traditional name: Rrutjupma
Mt Sonder lies 45 kilometres to the North of Hermannsburg and is the tallest landmark in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Its colour changes during sunrise or sundown are a spectacle to behold and it is a favourite subject for many of the Hermannsburg School artists. Hermannsburg people often comment about how this mountain is a woman lying down. It was named Mt Sonder by the explorer Ernest Giles after the German botanist Dr Otto Wilhelm Sonder.
Traditional name: Larlkintanherrama
Mt Hermannsburg is situated just to the South of Hermannsburg. It is clearly visible from the old mission and is the subject of many Hermannsburg School paintings. Albert Namatjira painted a few works of the Mission which feature Mt Hermannsburg as a backdrop. It’s traditional name means ‘place of the pierced nose’.
Traditional name: Ngkaarla
Standley Chasm is located 50 kilometres West of Alice Springs. Despite it being a popular tourist attraction it is rarely painted by Hermannsburg School artists and was possibly painted more on a commission basis. Western Arrarnta people call this place ngkaarla. It is much the same word in Eastern Arrernte: angkerle. Ngkaarla is the cumulo nimbus cloud which brings rain. It was named Standley Chasm after the pioneering Alice Springs school teacher Ida Standley.
Glen Helen Gorge
Traditional name: Ntjaanga
Glen Helen Gorge is located 132 West of Alice Springs. It is a popular stop for tourists who like to cool off in its tranquil waters. The gorge is one of the rarer subjects to feature in Hermannsburg art. Western Arrarnta people call the waterhole ‘ntjaanga’ which means lake or waterhole.
Traditional name: Pmurlangkinya
Palm Valley is situated 25 kms South of Hermannsburg. It is famous for it’s cabbage palms which are the survivors of a prehistoric past when the region was covered by rainforest. During the 1920s Palm Valley became a popular tourist attraction and was depicted by Albert Namatjira in some of his first artworks on mulga wood. Western Arrarnta people call this place ‘Pmurlangkinya’ which means ‘deserted camp’.
Twin Ghost Gums
The Twin Ghost Gums existed just to the West of Alice Springs.
They were immortalised in the artwork of Albert Namatjira and other Hermannsburg School artists. Tragically they were destroyed by fire in 2012. Ghost Gums are called ‘ilumpa’ by Westerm Arrarnta people.
These trees were sacred to the Western Arrarnta people and their loss caused immeasurable grief. Many of the old trees and indeed other aspects of the landscape can hold significant cultural meaning to the Western Arrarnta people. The landscape is akin to a bible of their creation. It is this connection and meaning which provides the inspiration for their artwork.