Mervyn Rubuntja

Mervyn Rubuntja

Skin name: Japanangka
Language: Arrernte
Date of birth: 1958-02-09
From: Alice Springs
Community: Alice Springs : NT

Artworks

Biography

Mervyn was born at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs. His mother Cynthia (Kamara) Obitja was a Western Aranda woman. His father was the late Mr Wenten Rubuntja Pengarte a famous painter. 

His father was an important role model for Mervyn. He 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.

Mervyn has followed in his father’s footsteps painting in the watercolour style that his father taught him. When Mervyn was 13 years old his family moved to Hermannsburg this is where he first saw watercolour paintings as he watched his uncles Maurice, Oscar and Keith Namatjira painting like their father Albert. Arnulf Ebatarinja another uncle 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 2006 Mervyn was invited to submit a painting for the “Mornington Peninsular Works on Paper” Exhibition. Mervyn was a finalist at the 2008 NATSIA Awards in Darwin and in 2013 he was invited to participate at the seminar “Presences in the Art of Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira” at the State Library of NSW.

Projects:

 2013 Speaker at “Haunted Landscapes Presences in the art of Albert Namatjira & Rex Battarbee”. A public symposium presented by the Writing & Society. The State library, Sydney, NSW
2014 Public Art, Mural at the Alice Plaza, Alice Springs
2016 Parrtjima, Festival of Light, Alice Springs (Ground projection)
2016 Cicada Press print workshop, UNSW, Sydney
2017 Parrtjima, Festival of Light, Alice Springs, (Honouring Space)
2018 Badu Gili, painting projection on the eastern Bennelong sail, Sydney Opera House, Sydney
2019 Cicada Press print workshop, UNSW, Sydney     

Group exhibitions

  • 2019
    Tjina Nurna-ka, Pmarra Nurn-kanha, Itla Itla Nurn-kanha (Our family, our country, our legacy), Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide SA
  • 2019
    Pmarra Nurna-Kananhala untha-lapp-urma (Walking through country), Hazelhurst Art centre, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2018
    The Endurance Of Bush Medicine, Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne, VIC
  • 2018
    Desert Mob, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
  • 2017
    The Namatjira Project Auction, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
  • 2017
    What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira?, Art Gallery of SA, Adelaide SA
  • 2017
    ArtGeo Complex Exhibition, Busselton, WA
  • 2017
    The extractive frontier: mining for art, Castlemaine, VIC
  • 2016
    Lingiari awards exhibition, Tangentyere gallery, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2016
    Abducted!, Alcaston Gallery, VIC
  • 2016
    UNALIENABLE, Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2015
    Kinship, In the footsteps of Namatjira, Moree, NSW
  • 2015
    Hermannsburg Horizons,, Wooloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2015
    A Hermannsburg Christmas, ReDot Gallery, Singapore
  • 2015
    The Namatjira Collection, TARNANTHI, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
  • 2015
    The Namatjira Collection, RAFT art space, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014
    Five Generations: The Strength of Namatjira's Legacy,, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014
    Namatjira to Now, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
  • 2014
    RightNow, Boomalli, Sydney, NSW
  • 2014
    The Men Artists of the Hermannsburg School of Art, , Talapi Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2014
    Regeneration, Metropolis, Gallery, Geelong, VIC
  • 2013
    The Namatjira Legacy, Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2013
    Southbank Centre, London, UK
  • 2013
    Salon des Refusés, Darwin, NT
  • 2013
    Contemporary Aboriginal Art From Australia, Château de l’Etang, Paris
  • 2013
    Customs House Library, NAIDOC week 2013, in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2012
    Damian Minton Gallery,, Sydney, NSW
  • 2012
    Art Mob, Hobart, TAS
  • 2012
    The Lockup, Newcastle, NSW
  • 2012
    Art Mob, Launceston, TAS
  • 2012
    Regional Art Gallery, Burnie, TAS
  • 2012
    Frankston Arts Centre, ,Frankston, VIC
  • 2012
    Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
  • 2012
    Talapi Gallery,, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2012
    Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, QLD
  • 2011
    Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
  • 2011
    Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2009
    The Watercolourists of Central Australia, Indigenart, Melbourne, Vic
  • 2009
    Beyond Batterby, Recent Watercolour by Central Australian Artists, Hobart, TAS
  • 2009
    Real to Surreal, Scenes from the Centre: Journey with the New Generation of Hermannsburg Watercolour Artists, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
  • 2009
    Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2008
    Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2008
    The Namatjira circle-landscapes of Central Australia, Birrung Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 2007
    Shifting Ground Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2006
    Hermannsburg School of Art - Watercolour Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2005
    Desert Mob Exhibition, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2004
    Central Advocate Award, Alice Springs, NT

Collections

  • Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
  • Ian Viner QC, WA
  • Museum and Art Gallery of NT
  • Finalist at the 2008 Telstra Awards
  • 2006 Mornington Peninsular Works on Paper Exhibition
  • 2004 Central Advocate Award, Alice Springs
  • 2008 Parliament House Art Collection, ACT
  • 2014 Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute (Baker IDI)
  • 2016 National Museum of Australia (NMA), Canberra, ACT
  • 2017 Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, QLD
  • 2018 Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), SA
  • 2018 Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne, VIC
  • 2019, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs

Awards

  • 2018
    35th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum Art Gallery NT Finalist
  • 2008
    25th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT
  • 2007
    24th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT