• Artist: Gabriel Maralngurra
  • Art Centre: Injalak Arts
  • Region: Arnhem Land

Artwork Story

Gabriel was born in Gunbalanya. He attended the local primary school and was one of the few students to complete Year 12, under School of the Air. Gabriel has been one the driving forces of Injalak Arts & Crafts since its beginnings as an Adult Education course in screen printing in 1986. Injalak became incorporated in 1989 and Gabriel has been a committee member since then, including 3 years as President and 1 years as Treasurer. It was Gabriel’s suggestion that the arts centre be named after nearby Injalak Hill which has extensive rock art paintings within and around it. As Injalak’s President, in 1991/92 Gabriel liaised with an American collector who commissioned a large number of works. He gave assistance in the production of a book and video of this collection. In 1993 Gabriel accompanied another artist to an award ceremony in Canberra at the Heritage Commission Art Awards. In the same year he travelled to Cairns and Alice Springs for meetings and conferences. In 1994 he went to Sydney to launch the 1994 Kunwinjku Seasonal Calendar. He has also made numerous trips to Darwin to represent Injalak at meetings and exhibition openings. In September 1995 Gabriel travelled to Shanghai in China to represent Injalak at an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Exhibition of paintings from Injalak.

Gabriel has many skills including screenprinting on T-shirts, posters and fabric. He is an accomplished artist and a recognised tour guide. Because of his outgoing personality, most tourists he speaks to ask to see his paintings and often end up purchasing one. During the dry season Gabriel is employed as interpretive artist every Thursday by the Australian Nature Conservation Agency to work with tourists at the East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park, demonstrating painting and giving tourists lessons in using grass brushes. He is an accredited Kunwinjku/English translator and assists with language and stories used in the documentation of paintings. Gabriel attributes much of his artistic education to Thompson Yulidjirri. He is also a senior supervisor of Injalak’s Printmaking Department. © Injalak Arts