Ronald Edwards Pepper

City Square
6—22 May Free

Ronald Edwards Pepper

Ronald Edwards Pepper (Gunai) takes over the Metro Tunnel hoarding at City Square with a large-scale artwork, viewable 24/7.

Emerging from the darkness
Ronald Edwards Pepper, 2021

When Aboriginal people see footprints on the land, they know who has walked there before them. We use footprints in our artwork to show people walking on Country, being connected to it, learning to look after it in sustainable ways. I incorporate the traditional lines of Gippsland into my paintings, and the cultural symbols of the Gunaikurnai people, such as lines, diamonds, circles and meeting places.

In Aboriginal culture, we sit around telling stories in a circle. We have big stories to tell. This is the way the lore of the land is passed on to the next generation, and the way my mum passed her knowledge on to me. Recently I have been using spiral markings in my artwork. I wanted to incorporate them to represent that we are all learning together and there is no ending. They also represent my mum, Elizabeth Pepper.

I use ceremony and art to show that I belong to the Country. It is through them that I tell my stories.

Ronald Edwards Pepper

Ronald is a proud Gunai man. The grandson of Dulcie (Dolly) Mullet and Watson Pepper, Ronald’s family moved to Morwell in the 1960s from Lake Tyers Mission.

Since graduating from Federation University with a Bachelor of Visual and Media Arts in 2017, Ronald has completed several commissions and participated in numerous exhibitions, in Australia and overseas.

Ronald primarily paints in acrylics on canvas, sometimes incorporating ochre into his work. He also enjoys experimenting with non-traditional materials such as neon and glow in the dark paint.


City Square

Dates & Times

Tue 20 April—Fri 22 May

Viewable 24/7

Key Artists

Ronald Edwards Pepper (Gunai)

Additional Info

This work is delivered by the Metro Tunnel Creative Program to celebrate YIRRAMBOI Festival.

The Metro Tunnel Creative Program supports Melbourne’s vibrancy, liveability and public spaces during the construction of the Metro Tunnel Project.

Image credit: James Henry