Gabriel Maralngurra

Gabriel Maralngurra

Skin name: Nawakadj
Language: Kunwinjku
Dreaming: Yirridjdja
Clan: Ngalangbali
Dance: Wurdyaw Djang
Date of birth: 1968-07-18
From: Kudjekbinj
Community: Oenpelli : NT
Outstation: Kudjekbinj
Artwork media: Ochre on Paper



Gabriel Maralngurra was among the founding members of Injalak Arts in the late 1980s, and continues to be a driving force behind the art centre today. Painting at Injalak since 1989 Gabriel’s artistic practice is reflected in the breadth and depth of the subjects he paints, his fluent linework and highly original compositions. Maralngurra’s work can be seen in periods, both in terms of style and subject matter, as he explores one artistic avenue after another. However behind this tireless experimentation his own confident and fluid style is unmistakeable, always balancing studied naturalism with a strong sense of design and stylisation. He attributes much of his artistic education to senior painter Thompson Yulidjirri in the early days of Injalak.

He is continually inspired by the rock art of West Arnhem Land, always referencing and working within this artistic tradition while pursuing formal innovations and new designs. His knowledge of stories, plants and animals gives him a wide range expressive material. His work has also explored the contact period in the Gunbalanya area, culminating in a solo exhibition ‘Contact’ at Mossenson Galleries in Melbourne in 2006.

He is an ambassador and mediator for Kunwinjku culture, having worked many years as a tour guide, Kunwinjku-English translator, Injalak board member and president, screenprinter and travelling widely around Australia for openings and launches. He is currently Co-Manager of Injalak. In September 1995 he travelled to Shanghai to represent the art centre at an Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Exhibition of paintings from Injalak.

As a founder, it is in large part Maralngurra’s vision and belief in the mission of the art centre that has allowed it to carry on and thrive. He has helped create a place where the Art History of West Arnhem Land can be continued, developed, experienced by others and apprenticed to younger generations.  

In January 2020, Gabriel undertook a residency at the Kluge Ruhe Collection in Virginia while he opened two exhibitions of work.

Group exhibitions

  • 2020 Kabimdi : There Are Painting There That Have Always Been There, Short St Gallery, Broome
  • 2020 MunguyhMunguyh (Forever): CELEBRATING THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JOHN W. KLUGE INJALAK COMMISSION, The Rotunda, University of Virginia
  • 2020 The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles, Fralin Museum, University of Virginia
  • 2018 Manme Manmak, Good Food! Ngundibukkan Manme Bim Come and look at this artwork about food We invite you to Central Craft’s June Marriott Gallery to enjoy a feast of creativity from Injalak Arts. The exhibition features paintings on paper by Willie Nabulwad and Gabriel Maralngurra. You can also sample a delicious range of woven pandanus fibre works and hand screen printed fabrics. Willie and Gabriel gather artistic inspiration from edible aspects of nature in West Arnhem Land. Willie’s beautifully executed paintings of native plants arise out of a life spent closely observing the natural world. Willie worked as a ranger in the Stone Country before he became an artist at Injalak. As a Warddeken Ranger, Willie developed a deep understanding of the natural rhythms of West Arnhem Land flora. Gabriel Maralngurra is one of Injalak Art’s co-founders and also one of the Art Centre’s Co-directors. Gabriel began his artistic career as a screenprinter. Later, Gabriel was taught to paint by Thompson Yulidjirri and his father in law, Lofty Nadjamerrek Bardayal. In turn, Gabriel is a generous teacher to the younger artists who continue to paint in the West Arnhem tradition. Willie and Gabriel’s palette is comprised of traditional red, yellow and white ochre colours used in West Arnhem Land art over 65,000 years. The earthy tones of ochres contrast with the bright colours of fabric hand- screenprinted at Injalak Arts and woven works made with naturally dyed pandanus. When seen together, the works presented offer an insight into the culture of West Arnhem Land, a verdant country filled with manme manmak in Northern Australia. Exhibition open from: 27 August to 16 September 2018, Opening: Thursday 6 September 2018 from 3-5:30pm with Afternoon Tea TBC. Gabriel Maralngurra will be signing copies of his Kunwinkju Counting Book on Thursday 6 September from 3-5:30pm TBC Location: Central Australian Territory Craft, Araluen Cultural Precinct, 61 Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs PO Box 85 Alice Springs NT 0871 Times: Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am - 3pm. For more details, email
  • 2017 Salon Des Refuses, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
  • 2017 Get it On 2017, Aboriginal Bush Traders, Darwin
  • 2017 Mayhmayh -Different Birds, Works on paper, bark and hollow logs, Nomad Art Gallery, Darwin
  • 2016 Interiors-Fabric panels, Framed the Darwin Gallery
  • 2016 Salon Des Refuses, Charles Darwin University, Darwin
  • 2016 Kunwinkju Counting Book Exhibition and Launch, Nomad Art Galley, Darwin
  • 2016 12th Festival of Pacific Art - Group Exhibition, Guam Museum, Guam
  • 2015 Wearables, Tactile Arts Gallery, Darwin
  • 2015 Salon Des Refuses, Darwin Waterfront, Darwin
  • 2015 Dolobbo: Contemporary Bark Paintings from Injalak Arts, Aboriginal & Pacific Art, Sydney
  • 2013 Wurrkabal, Netanya Resort, Noosa QLD
  • 2013 Injalak Arts Exhibition, Better World Arts, Port Adelaide
  • 2009 Ochre and Rust, Indigenart Gallery, Perth
  • 2008 Sex, Spirits & Sorcery, Mossenson Galleries, Melbourne
  • 2007 Continuity, Country and Culture: Three Generations
  • 2007 The Injalak Hill Suite, Abiriginal & Pacific Art Gallery, Danks St Sydney
  • 2006 Contact, Solo Exhibition, Mossenson Galleries, Melbourne
  • 2006 Paper, Bark, Canvas & Twine, Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2006 Wet and Dry, Indigenart Gallery, Perth WA
  • 2006 24th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, MAGNT, Darwin NT
  • 2006 The Second Peter Baillie Acquisitive Award, Flinders Univesity, Adelaide SA
  • 2005 Concord, Framed Gallery, Darwin
  • 2004 21st Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • 2003 Art Mob Exhibition Tasmania
  • 2003 20th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • 2001 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • 1998 Desert Designs Japingka Gallery, Perth WA
  • 1996 Framed Gallery, Darwin NT
  • 1995 21st Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • 1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition,, Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Darwin
  • 1994 Aboriginal & Tribal Art Gallery The Rocks Sydney NSW
  • 1993 Editions, Southbank, Melbourne Vic
  • 1993 Hogarth Aboriginal and Tribal Art Gallery
  • 1993 Stories, Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Kerava Art
  • 1993 Helsinki and Rovaniemi Art Museum Lappland, Finland
  • 1993 Burukmarri Gallery, Fremantle WA


  • Museum Australia
  • Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Canberra
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory,
  • Museum Victoria, Melbourne Australia
  • Batchelor Institute, N.T.
  • Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia
  • Dennis Scholl-USA
  • Kluge Collection, Charlottesville, United States of America


  • Carroll,Peter, Bark Art from Western Arnhem Land Northern Territory Anglican Foundation, 2010
  • Louise Hamby, Twined Together: Kunmadj njalehnjaleken, Injalak Arts and Crafts Association, 2005
  • Wright, Felicity, The Art & Craft Centre Story: Volume Three - Good stories from out bush, ATSIC, 2000
  • Kunwinjku Seasonal Calendar, Injalak Arts & Crafts, 1993


  • 2007 Selected to devolop the indigenous design for promotion of the world heritage listed Kakadu National Park, 2007


  • 2010 Telstra Art Awards- Highly Commended for his art work Wurdwurd (children) Kudjekbinj Dreaming Story, 2010
  • 2006 Wilin Centre Award - for Outstanding Indigenous Artist for his exhibition Making Contact, 2006