Skip to main content

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

b. 1943

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa (b. c. 1943), Pintupi painter, grew up around the Western Australia-Northern Territory border and was initiated at Yumari, near his birthplace. He began painting in about 1971 at Papunya, where he had worked as a labourer.

Images in his work are based on the initiated men's song cycle, the Tingari Cycle, which tells of Dreamtime beings who travelled across the country, gathering at various sites - rockholes, sand hills, sacred mountains and water soakages - for initiation ceremonies and creating the country along the way. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa was one of the first artists to represent such ancient stories with modern mediums. In 1981 he moved to Kintore in his traditional country. His works first appeared in Papunya Tula exhibitions during the 1970s; commercial exhibitions followed. In 1988 he won the Alice Springs Art Prize; his first Melbourne solo show was the following year. His work has been exhibited overseas and is held in the National Gallery of Australia and all state galleries.

Updated 2018