Mervyn Rubuntja

Mervyn Rubuntja was born at the Telegraph Station in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). His mother Cynthia Obitja was a Western Aranda woman. His father was the late Mr Wenten Rubuntja Pengarte, a famous painter. Mervyn’s father 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 paints in the watercolour style that his father taught him. When Mervyn was 13 years old his family moved to Ntaria (Hermannsburg) and this is where he first saw watercolour paintings as he watched his uncles Maurice, Oscar and Keith Namatjira painting like their father Albert. Another uncle, Arnulf Ebatarinja, 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 2021, Mervyn Rubuntja and Hubert Pareroultja won the Wandjuk Marika 3D Memorial Award for their work Through the Veil of Time at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. He has exhibited in various group exhibitions nationally and internationally and his work is held in many collections.