'Malu, Red Kangaroo Totem' by Justin (Iggy) Ronberg

- 4 mins read

In my quest to acquire authentic, true-to-its-origins Aboriginal artwork, here is the latest piece I got: a large 94x87 cm painting created by Justin ‘Iggy’ Ronberg in around 2007. He is an Aboriginal artist with Luritja, Mirning, and Arrernte background, the son of Bunna Lawrie from the music band Coloured Stone, and part of the Japurula skin group.

Malu, Red Kangaroo Totem by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Malu, Red Kangaroo Totem by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Wild flowers, Spinifexes, Kangaroo tracks by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Wild flowers, Spinifexes, Kangaroo tracks by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Two aboriginal man, gathering kangaroos and sitting on country by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Two aboriginal man, gathering kangaroos and sitting on country by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Wild flowers, Spinifexes and dot painting by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Wild flowers, Spinifexes and dot painting by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Handwritten information by Justin Iggy Ronberg
Handwritten information by Justin Iggy Ronberg

The Artwork

As you can see in the pictures above, this large artwork depicts tracks of kangaroos moving across country in between wild flowers and spinifexes, two aboriginal man hunting, gathering kangaroos on the land and sitting on country, and what appears to be an overall scene after rain. This painting style embodies what I love most about Aboriginal art—true to its origins from the movement started in the ’70s. The symbols and colors used are authentic.

Artist’s Motivations

I regularly visited the Nullabor country to spend time with my father’s mob. My dad Bunna Lawrie of the international band Coloured Stone, is from the Mirning country of the Nullabor coastal areas of the Great Australian Bight. My mother, Emily Anne Ronberg, a Luritja-Arrente woman, was a stolen generation child. As the oldest grandson, I felt an obligation and a strong desire to return to my traditional homeland and learn my peoples ways; to learn stories that were handed from generation to generation; from an Elder system which spans at least forty thousand years. At a very early age I was influenced by the spiritual sounds of the didgeridoo of the old people of the Top End of the Northern Territory, as they sat on the ground painted, and sung under the shade of the trees. I was taught the didgeridoo by Elders who are masters of this musical instrument. Members from my mother’s family provided me with an in-depth knowledge of my country and my roles and responsibilities to my culture. My Australian landscape and earth images paint a strong sense of connection with the Australian outback (bush). My creations are earthy, vibrant and full of life.


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