Skip to content

Teho Ropeyarn

Teho Ropeyarn is an artist and curator from Injinoo, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Born in Mount Isa in 1988, he holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts (UNSW) in Sydney and is currently based in Cairns, Queensland.

Ropeyarn is descended from the Angkamuthiand Yadhaykana clans from Injinoo on the mainland, Badu, Moa and Murray Island in the Torres Strait; Woppaburrapeople (Great Keppel Island) and Batchullapeople (Fraser Island). His practice is focussed on his father’s people’s heritage. Having lived in Injinoo most of his life, he focuses on his Aboriginal heritage to keep what is remaining, alive.

The narratives in his work explore several traditional and historical stories including significant events, dreaming sites, totems, the four clan groups that make up the Injinoo peoples and ceremonial body designs encompassing spiritual connection to Country and community on both land and sea. With a focus on preserving and documenting permitted stories and knowledge passed down from Elders, Ropeyarn’s visual narratives are recreated through a contemporary lens. The rhythm, patterns, and imagery in his work often utilise elements from body markings derived from his region. Elements of these body markings, which are applied to the abdomen of the subjects, provide symbols that enrich his imagery and connect Ropeyarn’s spirit of the work to his people and Country.

Teho Ropeyarn’sworks have been acquired by prestigious institutions and collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Ropeyarn has been curated into major exhibitions across Australia and abroad: 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022); Tarnanthi 2021, Art Gallery of South Australia; InkMaster’s 3rd Biennial Print Exhibition, Cairns (2016); 8th International Printmaking Biennial of Douro, Portugal (2016); GOMA-Q, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (2015); Primavera 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012) and 11th Nationwide Academies of Fine Arts Printmaking Biennial, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China (2012).

He has also been the recipient of several grants from funding agencies across Australia, and received recognition from significant prizes and awards, nationally and internationally, including: Geelong Acquisitive Print Award (2019); Fremantle Print Award Exhibition, Fremantle Art Centre (2016); National Works on Paper Award, Mornington Peninsular Regional Art (2014); WollotukaAcquisitive Art Prize, University of Newcastle (2012) and two-time finalist in the 29th and 30th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award at the Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory.

News

Cross River Rail Station Art, Elisa Jane Carmichael, Tamika Grant-Iramu, Brian Robinson, Teho Ropeyarn

Onespace Directors John Stafford and Jodie Cox were very excited to attend the Cross River Rail Station Art launch on…

2023 Acquisition — Monash University Museum of Art

Representatives of Monash University Museum of Art had the pleasure of viewing Ropeyarn’s work at CIAF, and following this interaction,…

2023 QAGOMA Foundation Appeal

The QAGOMA Foundational Appeal 2023 generously supports the acquisition of Onespace artists, Teho Ropeyarn, Brian Robinson and Tamika Grant-Iramu.

Teho Ropeyarn Highly Commended | The Valerie Taylor Art Prize

We would like to extend our congratulations to Teho Ropeyarn for receiving the Highly Commended prize for his work ‘Ipi…

Priority List

To join this artist’s priority list for new works and related events, please add your details below.

"*" indicates required fields

You will not be automatically added to the gallery email list. If you would like to subscribe, please do so here.

For collectors

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters, culture, and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.