Hermannsburg watercolour landscape artist, Mervyn Rubuntja
Posted by Aboriginal Art Directory | 06.02.13
Watercolour landscape artist Mervyn Rubuntja will be travelling to Sydney from Alice Springs for a weekend of events in Sydney in February, which include a painting session at a local gallery and a panel discussion at the State Library of NSW on the life of Albert Namitjira.
Mervyn Rubuntja was born at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs in 1958. His father, Wenton Rubuntja Pengate, was an important Lawman and respected member of his community who worked hard for Aboriginal rights and the protection of the land with the Central Land Council and with his involvement with the Mabo Agreement. Taught to paint by Albert Namatjira (a relation by skin group), Wenton was also a well-known artist, and subject & co-author of the book, And the Town Grew Up Dancing.
When Mervyn turned 13, his family moved to Hermannsburg where he first saw watercolour paintings being created by his uncles (Albert Namatjira’s sons, Maurice, Oscar and Keith). It was here he was then given watercolour paperboard and told to paint, with Basil Rantji teaching him how to mix colours.
Since then, 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.
The current artists who paint landscapes in watercolours in what is known as "the Hermannsburg style" are third and fourth generation, related to Albert Namatjira by blood or skin group and represented by the Ngurratjuta Many Hands Art Centre in Alice Springs. Many of these artists are on exhibition at Tali Gallery (including Albert Namatjira jnr, Douglas Abbott, Elton Wirri, and Peter Taylor, as well as artists whose work were purchased by the Art Gallery of NSW in 2012, Gloria Pannka, Lenie Namatjira and Ivy Pareroultja.)
Details of Mervyn's appearances:
Saturday 23 February (10.00am-5.00pm) - Mervyn painting at Tali Gallery in an Open Studio - all welcome
Sunday 24 February (1.00-5.00pm) - Mervyn participating in a panel discussion at the State Library of NSW with people drawn from all over Australia, knowledgeable on Albert Namatjira’s life, his painting and the Hermannsburg 'school' of watercolourists
Tali Gallery will be also including additional events and talks throughout Saturday - all free bar a children’s workshop at 11.00am. Details are:
10.00am Welcome to Country and a co-workshop with the Royal Art Society Artist of the Year, Julie Simmons
11.00am Children’s workshop with young Indigenous artist Nikeeta Haverfield ($25 per child, bookings required)
2.30pm Talk by Dulwich Hill resident, Martin Edmond who is writing a book and PhD paper on the first and most famous Hermannsburg watercolour artist, Albert Namatjira and the European who taught him to paint, Rex Battarbee
Mervyn Rubuntja, Mount Leichhardt, NT