Rona Panangka Rubuntja was born in 1970 and is the niece of famous watercolourist and elder Wenten Rubuntja. She joined the Hermannsburg Potters in 1998, and has since established herself as one of the most prominent senior artists of the group, participating in over forty group exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including the highly acclaimed exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria Our Land is Alive: Hermannsburg Potters for Kids in 2015/2016 and Tarnanthi 2018 at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Rona’s joyous style is distinctive, humorous and imaginative, and her storytelling ability comes across most strongly in her figurative work. She remains inspired by contemporary life in Ntaria, and her work often includes depictions of cattle and brumbies roaming country, heading out to the outstation in a Toyota, and collecting bush tucker with her extended family.
Rona’s work was short listed for the Telstra NATSIAA’s in 2021 and she her work has also been short listed in The Design Files Awards for 2021. Her work was selected for the prestigious Shepparton Art Museum Indigenous Ceramic Art Award three times, winning second place in 2008 for her work Palm Valley Muster.
Rona’s work has been collected both in Australia and overseas including the Australian Parliament House Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Portrait Gallery, Australia Beverly Hills Library, California, USA and most recently in the Powerhouse Collection Sydney.
Sabbia Gallery is delighted to be presenting Rona’s first solo exhibition, Down the road from Ntaria.
These works tell the story of me and my family Rubuntja, getting together in our beat-up Toyotas and getting out on the road. Cars are everywhere out here in Ntaria, they’re a huge part of our community life. They take us where we need to go, up to the shops or out on country, they bring the family together. Each work depicts the car of one of my family members and tells the story of the adventures (and breakdowns) we’ve had together, with every Rubuntja and their dog packed in the back.
Rona Panangka Rubuntja, October 2022