Ronnie Tjampitjinpa was born in c.1943 at Tjiturrunya west of Kintore Ranges in Western Australia. Ronnie was initiated into manhood in Winparku, near Lake Mackay.
After prolonged droughts in the 1950s, he and his family moved, first to Haasts Bluff, then to Papunya. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa commenced painting in c.1975 after he observed the Papunya painting movement. Since moving to Walungurru, in the early 1980's he has emerged as one of Papunya Tula's major artists.
Ronnie Tjampitjinpa's art is a good representation of the characteristic Pintupi sytle: repetition of forms, which are geometric, simple and bold, and pigments which are often restricted to four basic colours of black, red, yellow and white; however Ronnie experiments with other colours as well.
Like European art, Aboriginal art represents and symbolises the world and the beliefs of people. Traditional Aboriginal art represent the Dreaming but is often also a vital part of ceremonies.
The concept of art in traditional Aboriginal society is very different to the concept of art in European society. In traditional Aboriginal societies, activities like dancing, singing, body decorations, sand drawings, making implements or weaving baskets were not considered to be separate activities called art and design. All of these activities were a part of the Dreaming and a part of normal daily life.
Aboriginal people traditionally used the materials available to them to symbolise the Dreaming and their world. As a result, art forms varied in different areas of Australia. In the central desert, ground drawing was a very important style of art and throughout Australia rock art as well as body painting and decoration were common although varying in styles, method, materials and meaning. There is and was a wide range of traditional Aboriginal art forms.
Communities today throughout Australia such as ours still produce traditional art, which has traditional content and meaning.