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.

Exhibitions:

2004 Central Advocate Award, Alice Springs, NT
2005 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2006 “Hermannsburg School of Art”, Araluen Galleries, NT
2006 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2007 Shifting Ground Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2007 24th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT
2008 The Namatjira circle-landscapes of Central Australia, Birrung Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2008 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2008 25th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT
2009 Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2009 Real to Surreal, Scenes from the Centre: Journey with the New Generation of Hermannsburg Watercolour Artists, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
2009 Beyond Batterby, Recent Watercolour by Central Australian Artists, Hobart, TAS
2009 The Watercolourists of Central Australia, Indigenart, Melbourne, Vic
2011 Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2011 Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
2012 Damian Minton Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2012 The Lockup, Newcastle, NSW
2012 Regional Art Gallery, Burnie, TAS
2012 Art Mob, Launceston, TAS
2012 Art Mob, Hobart, 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
2013 The Namatjira Legacy, Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2013 Customs House Library, NAIDOC week 2013, in collaboration with the City of Sydney and Tali Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2013 Contemporary Aboriginal Art From Australia, Château de l’Etang, Paris
2013 Southbank Centre, London, UK
2013 Salon des Refusés, Darwin, NT
2014 Five Generations: The Strength of Namatjira’s Legacy, Araluen Galleries, Alice Springs, NT
2014 RightNow, Boomalli, Sydney, NSW
2014 Regeneration, Metropolis Gallery, Geelong, VIC
2014 The Men Artists of the Hermannsburg School of Art, Talapi Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2014 Namatjira to Now, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
2015 Hermannsburg Horizons, Wooloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2015 A Hermannsburg Christmas, ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2015 Kinship, In the footsteps of Namatjira, Moree, NSW
2015 The Namatjira Collection, TARNANTHI, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
2015 The Namatjira Collection, RAFT art space, Alice Springs, NT
2016 Lingiari awards exhibition, Tangentyere gallery, Alice Springs, NT
2016 UNALIENABLE, Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2016 Abducted! Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2017 The extractive frontier: mining for art, Castlemaine, VIC
2017 ArtGeo Complex Exhibition, Busselton, WA
2017 What if this photograph is by Albert Namatjira? TARNANTHI, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
2017 The Namatjira Project Auction, Art Gallery of SA (AGSA), Adelaide, SA
2018 35th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of NT
2018 The Endurance Of Bush Medicine, Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne, VIC
2018 Desert Mob, Araluen Galleries, 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 
 
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