Ronnie Tjampitjimpa

 



Born:            c. 1943

People:          Pintupi

Language:     Pintupi

Area:             Muyinnga

 

 

 

 

Ronnie was born around 1943 near Muyinnga, about 100 kilometers west of the Kintore ranges. His family moved extensively across the Pintupi territory up through the Northern Territory, living the traditional ways in 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 Haast 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 the time. Shortly after he commenced painting he communicated with his people his desire to return to their traditional lands. The land being central to the preservation of a culture dictated by its presence. 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 a major artist of the Papunya Tula group. His work reflects his direct 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, 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 allowing outsiders insight in to 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.

In 1988 Ronnie was the recipient of the coveted Alice Springs Art Prize.

As a major Aboriginal artist, his work has featured in numerous exhibitions and collections nationally and internationally. In 1982 Ronnie exhibited at the Brisbane Festival, followed in 1988 at Expo ‘88, Brisbane. 1988 Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1996 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne. In 1990 his work was shown in Europe, featuring at the National Gallery of Modern Art Rome. 1991 saw his work included in ‘Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn’ University of Miami U.S.A. Also ‘Aboriginal Paintings from the Desert’ Union of Soviet Artists Gallery Moscow, and Museum of Ethnographic Art St. Petersburg Russia, 1994 ‘Dreamings’ Museum Villa Stuck Munich. His works featured in the ‘Indigenous art of the Dreamtime‘, held in the Foyer of the United Nations Building 1999, New York; and also in 1999 at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, USA. From 2001-2004 Ronnie’s works featured in an exhibition ‘Mythology & Reality: Contemporary Aboriginal Desert Art from the Gabrielle Pizzi Collection,’ Palazzo Bricherasio Turin, Italy; AAM Utrecht, Netherlands, Jerusalem Centre for the Performing Arts, Israel; SH Irvin Gallery, Sydney; Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia.

Collections: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Artbank, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Campbelltown City Art Gallery, Donald Khan Collection, Jinta Desert Art Gallery Sydney,Aboriginal Desert Art Gallery, Alice Springs, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria; Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs; Lowe Art Museum University of Miami, Musee des Arts Africans et Oceaniens Paris, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; The Holmes a Court Collection; Groninger Museum, The Netherlands.