Ronnie was born in around 1943 in the very remote region of “Walangurru” near the Kintore Ranges, about 530km west of Alice Springs.
Ronnie grew up living the traditional, nomadic way of life in the desert. This included being initiated as a young man, at the very mysterious men’s ceremony of the Pintupi people, where women and outsiders are strictly forbidden.
Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is one of the founding members of the Papunya Tula Western Desert art movement of the 1970’s, which shot him to international stardom.
Ronnie generally paints designs associated with “Tingari”, including his stunning “Fire Dreaming” in his trademark contemporary big and bold designs.
“Tingari” is a creation mythology, described as ancient ancestral spirits who travelled across the land during the “Dreamtime” creating and forming the landscape and elements. The “Tingari” ancestors gathered at significant landmarks for “Maliera” (initiation) ceremonies. These sacred sites are such places as rock holes, sand hills, mountains and water soakage’s. “Tingari” is also described as a secret song cycle sacred to initiated men.
Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s paintings are displayed in galleries and collections across Australia and internationally.