Robert Jangala Pluto was born in 1972 in Cairns, Queensland. His family come from Borroloola, a town in the Northern Territory of Australia, located on the McArthur River, about 50 km upstream from the Gulf of Carpentaria. Robert has two sisters and an older brother, all of whom live in Cape York, Queensland.
Robert attended Wangetti College, Cairns, an Indigienous governed College catering for students in Years 8 – 12. After finishing school he worked as a plumber, commuting to rural communities in Queensland. In 2004 he came to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia, looking for a job. He met and married Ruth Nungarrayi Spencer and they have one son, Korie. Both Robert and Ruth paint with Warlukurlangu Artists.
Robert has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2008. He paints his grandfather’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories have been passed down to him by his father’s father and his father’s father before him for millennia. “I like painting the Rainbow Snake from my Grandfather’s side. My totem! I use the colours of the land and paint the nature of the snake!”
When Robert is not working full time with the Old People’s Program, or not painting, he likes to go hunting for goanna, kangaroo, turkey, emu and snake with his Grandfather, Thomas Jangala Rice.