Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

(Biography & photograph courtesy of Aboriginal Fine Arts Gallery, Darwin.)

Born
c.1942
Language
Pintupi

Ronnie was born around 1943 near Muyinnga, about 100 kilometres west of the Kintore ranges. His family moved extensively across the Pintupi territory up through the Northern Territory, living the traditional ways, which his people have lived for over 40,000 years.

He was initiated into manhood in the early 1950's at Yumari near his birthplace. Shortly afterwards, due to drought conditions in the 1950's, Ronnie and his family moved towards Haasts Bluff and then later joined relatives at the newly settled Papunya community.

He found work as a fencer making the yards for cattle in the surrounding area. It was during this time that he started to take an interest in the art movement happening at this time. Shortly after he started painting, he discussed with many people about moving back into the traditional lands, which is the basis of their lives.

His goal was made possible by the establishment of the Kintore settlement in 1981. By being more in touch with his traditional lands and the Dreaming, Ronnie soon emerged as one of Papunya Tula's major artists.

His work reflects his directs ties with his culture, retaining a purity that many other aboriginal artists have not achieved. Ronnie's work follows the strict Pintupi style of strong circles joined together by connecting lines relating to the people and the land and the Dreamtime.

His work has a simplicity that makes it appealing, yet mysterious as the uninitiated try to understand what he is painting. By painting the Dreamtime he is helping to resurrect the Aboriginal culture as a whole and allow outsiders to learn about one of the oldest cultures in the world. This work is important to the spirituality of this land, bridging the gap between European life and Traditional Aboriginal Life, which is important in exposing and healing this gap.

Being one of the major Aboriginal Artists his work has featured in numerous exhibitions and collections around Australia. He has had solo exhibitions at the Utopia Gallery and the Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi. Several of his group exhibitions include the Dreamtime Gallery, The Australian National Gallery and the Art Gallery of South Australia. He is also in permanent collections at the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Victoria and the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory.

 

Exhibitions

1983

Mori Gallery, Sydney.

1986

Roar Studios, Melbourne.

1987

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.

1988

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.

1989

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne;
Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

1990

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne;
Paintings from the Desert, Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Plimsoll Gallery, Centre for the Arts, Hobart, Tasmania;
The Seventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin;
National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome.

1991

The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin;
Flash Pictures, National Gallery of Australia;
Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA;
Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert, Union of Soviet Artists Gallery, Moscow and Museum of Ethnographic Art, St. Petersburg, Russia.

1992

Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs;
The Ninth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1993

Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach, QLD;
Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA;
Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.

1994

Dreamings - Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert;
The Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs;
The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin;
Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra;
Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria;
Yiribana, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

 

Collections

Fire Dreaming
AUD 10000

150cm x 90cm
Acrylic on linen

Eagle Dreaming
AUD 19000

118cm x 113cm
Acrylic on canvas


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