Artist Mervyn Rubuntja
Title Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges), NT
Year 2022

Watercolour on paper, framed

Dimensions 34 × 54 cm
Art Centre Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre →

Out of stock

Mervyn Rubuntja

Mervyn Rubuntja was born at the Telegraph Station in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). His mother Cynthia Obitja was a Western Aranda woman. His father was the late Mr Wenten Rubuntja Pengarte, a famous painter. Mervyn’s father was a senior lawman and a respected member of his community. He fought for Aboriginal rights and protection of the land working alongside the Central Land Council, and assisted in the Mabo agreement. When Mervyn was 13 years old his family moved to Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and this is where he first saw watercolour paintings as he watched his uncles Maurice, Oscar and Keith Namatjira painting like their father Albert. Another uncle, Arnulf Ebatarinja, kindled Mervyn’s painting talent when he gave him some watercolour paperboard and taught him to paint. Mervyn’s family moved back to Alice Springs in 1975 and he began to paint with Basil Rantji who taught him how to mix colours.

In 2021, Mervyn Rubuntja and Hubert Pareroultja won the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award for their work Through the Veil of Time at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. He has exhibited in various group exhibitions nationally and internationally and his work is held in many collections.

Artist statement

Rock Wallaby is the small one, the fuzzy one. It comes all the way from Henbury Downs to 16 miles. It is the homeland for my cousin and members of my family still live there. This Country belongs to Jampinjimpa /Jangala.
It is a sacred site and it is only open for men.
Regarding the flood 2021-22; The big rain brought buffel grass. We can’t see a bit of land, can’t see my Country. It used to be an open space but not now.