Ronnie Tjampitjinpa: Tingari

Accessibility links

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa: Tingari


Tingari, polymer paint on linen painting by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa.

Donated by Mr Chris Simon, Yanda Aboriginal Art, Alice Springs, NT.

  • Polymer paint on linen
  • 1800 x 3000 mm
  • 2002

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is one of the original men who began painting ceremonial designs on boards at Papunya in the early 1970s. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s early paintings exemplified what became known as the ‘classic’ Papunya-style with their series of connected roundels and all-over pattern of dots. This iconography reflects relationships between ceremonial painting and body designs, sacred sites and Tingari stories. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is an initiated Pintupi man and was born near Muyinga, 100 kms west of the Kintore Range. Drought forced his family to leave this area and settle at Haasts Bluff in 1956, before moving on to Papunya. In 1981, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa was able to return with his family to his traditional country. The secret knowledge connected with Tingari stories is traditionally revealed only to initiated Pintupi men in song cycles performed in ceremonies. The stories involve the journeys of ancestral beings as they travelled across the country creating landforms and establishing law. Because secret knowledge is hidden in Tingari paintings, only limited information can be shared with the uninitiated. The repetition of lines and alternating dark and light creates an optical illusion. This also generates movement as the white forms shift forward and the black ones recede into the red surface of the painting.

From material supplied by Dr Lisa Chandler.

Wondervision Postcard 8

  1. Create your own artwork in the style of Ronnie Tjampitjinpa. You do not have to use rectangular shapes, you could use circles, squares or other geometric forms.
  2. Research the ‘outstation’ movement mentioned in Ronnie’s biography. Keep notes in a journal. Investigate the three settlements named: Kintore, Utopia and Kiwirrkurra.
  3. Research and record the phrase ‘Tingari song cycles’. Write a 100 word description of what you found in your research. Google ‘Ronnie Tjampitjinpa Tingari cycle interview’ to hear Ronnie talking about his artworks and the Tingari cycle.
  4. Research the modern meaning of the word ‘roundel’. How is it similar or different to the meaning used by Western Desert Artists?
  5. Design a roundel as a symbol for you or your family.
Back to top

Pro tip: To search, just start typing - at any time, on any page.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned more than {{ model.MaxResults }} results.
The top {{ model.MaxResults }} of {{ model.TotalItems }} are shown below.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned {{ model.TotalItems }} results.

Searching {{ model.SearchType }} for returned no results.