Mervyn Rubuntja

Born 1958, Telegraph Station, Alice Springs.
Works with Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre, Alice Springs—home of the Namatjira watercolour artists

Artist's CV

From July 2018, Mervyn’s work along with paintings by 5 other Indigenous artists will illuminate the sails of the Sydney Opera House for 12 months - at sunset and 7pm each day.

Born at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs, Mervyn Rubuntja’s mother Cynthia (Kamara) Obitja was a Western Arrernte woman and his father was a famous ‘Hermannsburg School’ watercolour artist, the late Wenten Rubuntja Pengarte.

Mervyn’s fathera very important and influential role modelwas 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 assisteing in the Mabo agreement.

Mervyn paints in the style that his father taught him. At the age of 13, he moved to Hermannsburg where he first saw watercolour paintings being created by his uncles (Albert Namatjira’s sons, Maurice, Oscar and Keith). HIs family moved back to Alice Springs in 1975 and he began to paint with Basil Rantji who taught him how to mix colours. 

Mervyn has developed a distinctive style in painting the landscapes of Mt Riddick, Mt Leichhardt, MacDonnell Ranges and views around Alice Springs, with a clear and vivid colouring. His paintings are in many collections including the Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Araluen Galleries and Ian Viner QC, and have been accepted into the 2007 and 2008 NATSIAAs. 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.

In July 2018, a work by Mervyn was selected for the second iteration of the outdoor exhibition “Badu Gili” at the Sydney Opera House. Meaning ‘water light’ in the language of the traditional owners of Bennelong Point, the Gadigal people — it is a daily experience that explores ancient First Nations stories in a spectacular seven-minute projection. Mervyn's work along with paintings by 5 other Indigenous artists will illuminate the sails of the Opera House for 12 months - at sunset and 7pm each day.

\ Artworks

Aileron (Cat# 1455-11)

2011 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x57.5cm paper size

SOLD

Altunga (Cat# NGUR09MRU8820)

2009 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x57.5cm paper size

SOLD

East MacDonnell Ranges (Cat# NGUR08MRU7062)

2008 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x57cm paper size

SOLD

East MacDonnell Ranges, near Undoolya Road (Cat# 481-17)

2017 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38.5x57.5cm paper size

SOLD

Mt Connor (Cat# NGUR09MRU9610)

2009 \ Watercolour on paper \ 39x56.5cm paper size

SOLD

Mt Hay (Cat# NGUR08MRU6959)

2008 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x57cm paper size

SOLD

Mt Sonder (Cat# 123-18)

2018 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x57cm paper size

SOLD

North East - Ark Range Area (Cat# NGUR09MRU9404)

2009 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x58cm paper size

North near Papunya (Cat#NGUR09MRU8346)

2009 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38.5x57cm paper size

Tjuritja (West MacDonnell Ranges, NT)

2016 \ Acrylic on linen \ 182x244cm \ Provenance: Iltja Ntjarra / Many Hands Art Centre

SOLD

West MacDonnell Ranges (Cat# NGUR08MRU6934)

2008 \ Watercolour on paper \ 38x56.5cm paper size

SOLD

\ News

News

Western Desert artist, Mervyn Rubuntja's painting illuminates Sydney Opera House

25 July 2018

A vibrant watercolour painting by Mervyn Rubuntja will illuminate the sales of the Sydney Opera House every evening for the next twelve months. Mervyn was selected alongside five other Indigenous artists for Badu Gili - a daily experience that explores ancient First Nations stories in a spectacular seven-minute projection.

Read more

\ Exhibitions featuring Mervyn Rubuntja

Many Hands, Home of the Namatjira Artists

Group Exhibition

10 October — 20 October 2017

Contact Us

to find out more about Mervyn Rubuntja.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm Saturday