Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours




Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

View More:


Bird with wings



Rhonda Sharpe


08 Jan 1977 -

Language group

Luritja, Central Desert region


Rhonda Sharpe is renowned for her paintings that capture the vibrancy of her experience living in Larrapinta Valley. However in recent years, Sharpe has attracted wide acclaim for her soft whimsical sculptures and print making. As Rhonda’s confidence as an artist grows so too does her subject matter. Rhonda excels at producing characters that reflect her life and experiences of living in Alice Springs, such as birds, human figures, self portraits and even extraterrestrial beings.

She works with the art centre Yarrenyty Arltere, which is located in Larapinta Valley Town Camp in Alice Springs, the centre works with Western Arrernte and Luritja artists. Central to the practice of the artists working at the centre is soft sculptures, which are crafted from recycled woollen blankets dyed with local plants and rusted pieces of metal. The blankets are then used as the base material to create unique and innovative sculptures. With the addition of embellished details such as feathers, beads and intricate stitching, these sculptures transcend the modest materials that they are created with.

The diversity of practice within the Yarrenyty Arltere art centre includes animation and short films. Using this cinematic awareness, Sharpe sculpts her characters with an anticipation of movement, 'Bird with wings' 2015 is poised in preparation for flight.


Place where the work was made

Alice Springs Northern Territory Australia



Media category



44.0 x 33.5 x 13.0 cm 51.0 x 33.5 x 13.0 cm including stand

Signature & date

not signed, not dated


Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2015

Accession number


Artist information

Rhonda Sharpe

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Alice Springs

Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

  • Making art/ making life, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Waterloo, 11 Jul 2015–01 Aug 2015

  • The Lady and the Unicorn, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Feb 2018–24 Jun 2018

  • Joy, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Oct 2020–21 Feb 2021