Visiting artist Gabriel Maralngurra works with UVA students in virtual residency

March 5, 2021

I feel proud that I’m sharing this painting, of myself and my people. Here in Gunbalanya and for the rest of the world to hear the stories which will never be forgotten. – GABRIEL MARALNGURRA

(photo by Tom Cogill)

The Mellon Indigenous Arts Program is very happy to welcome back Gabriel Maralngurra as a virtual Visiting Fellow this spring. Maralngurra is a founding member of Injalak Arts, a cooperative of Indigenous artists from the Aboriginal community of Gunbalanya in northern Australia which was formed in 1989 to promote Kunwinjku art and culture. As an artist and educator, he is a driving force behind the art center, which he currently co-manages. As a painter and printmaker, his work encompasses a wealth of subject matter, from ancestral narratives, plants and animals, through to imagery of early colonial encounters. Inspired by the extensive rock art of his homelands, his work is characterized by its confidence and fluidity, as well as its restless innovation. Maralngurra takes seriously his role in educating both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Kunwinjku culture. This role has seen him travel widely throughout Australia and the world. In January 2020 he undertook a residency at the University of Virginia to coincide with the launch of The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Memorial Poles at The Fralin Museum of Art. His work is held in the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, the National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the British Museum.

During his virtual residency in February, Maralngurra will work closely over several sessions with students in ARTH 2882: Sex Spirits and Sorcery. This will culminate in a public webinar at 7pm EST on Friday 5 March, 2021 in which Maralngurra will discuss, in conversation with Henry Skerritt, Curator of the Indigenous Arts of Australia at Kluge-Ruhe, the long history of art at Gunbalanya and the role of Injalak Arts in strengthening Kunwinjku culture. Register here for the webinar!