Gabriel Maralngurru


Skin name:     Nawakadj
Language:     Kunwinjku
Clan:     Ngalangbali
Date of birth:     1968-07-18
Community:     Oenpelli, NT
Outstation:     Kudjekbinj

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.

Group exhibitions

  • 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 Paper, Bark, Canvas & Twine, Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2006 Contact, Solo Exhibition, Mossenson Galleries, Melbourne
  • 2006 Wet and Dry, Indigenart Gallery, Perth WA
  • 2006 The Second Peter Baillie Acquisitive Award, Flinders Univesity, Adelaide SA
  • 2006 24th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, MAGNT, Darwin NT
  • 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


  • 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


  • 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