- Place where the work was made
- Cultural origin
- Western Arrernte, Central Desert region
- Media categories
- Sculpture , Textile
- Materials used
- mixed media, plastic, woollen blankets dyed with bush plants, cotton, wool, hessian, feathers
- 26.0 x 31.0 x 34.0 cm
- Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2019
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © the artist, courtesy Yarrenyty Arltere Artists
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Marlene Rubuntja is the sister of acclaimed watercolourist Mervyn Rubuntja and daughter of Wenten Rubuntja, an activist and artist who was a leader in the movement that assisted in the development of town camps for Aboriginal peoples in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Rubuntja is a gem of the desert, creating works that advocate for mental health awareness. She often speaks of how sewing changed her life - that she was very sad and troubled and by working at the art centre she has found a place of happiness and purpose where she can express herself. Rubuntja has worked hard for opportunities that have opened her world in ways previously not possible.
Rubuntja’s works are imbued with humour, while poignantly referencing her distinct cultural and social understandings of her hometown, Mparntwe. In this work Rubuntja colourfully adorns a female figure, joyously walking along with dilly bags in hand. Vibrant, excessive and somewhat comical, the figure highlights the importance of happiness and joy in our everyday lives.
Rubuntja also works with animation and in printmaking. She won the Vincent Lingiari art award in 2016, and she was a finalist at the 2011 TogArt Contemporary Art Awards; the 2017 and 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards; and the 2019 Vincent Lingiari Art Award. Rubuntja is represented in state and regional galleries across Australia, including the University of Newcastle; Art Gallery of South Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; Maitland Regional Gallery; and Araluen Arts Centre.
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Joy, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Oct 2020–21 Feb 2021