ARTIST: ENGLAND BANGALA
COUNTRY: GOCHAN JINY-JIRRA, CADELL RIVER
BORN: 1925 c. – 2001
Title: “Wulakarda” (Conical Fish Traps)
(Mardayin Body Paint Design)
England Bangala was born and raised at Gochan Jiny-jirra on the Cadell River in Central Arnhemland. England Bangala is recognised as one of the important significant artists of the Arnhemland region. His works are represented in most Australian & overseas Museums.
As a young boy he attended the mission school at Millingimbi, an island just off the North Coast of Australia.
As he grew older he worked as a farmer and a carpenter at his homeland, then later travelled west to work as a buffalo shooter in the area of Oenpelli.
Fish traps are commonly used by Gunardba men to catch the different types of fish. Reeds are cut to size & intricately woven to create an oblong tube with a small opening on one end. The tube is then set with bait and placed in the waterways between the mangroves. The fish will swim in to eat the bait and then cannot swim back out as fish cannot swim backwards.
Fish traps were painted on the cave walls of Arnhem Land dating back thousands of years showing their significance in the painted records of aboriginal society.
This Design is also the “rarrk” or linework worn by the men for Mardayin Ceremony.
This particular painting is a Cadell River Story.
1992 Half Fellowship, Aboriginal Arts Unit of the Australian Council for the Arts
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Djomi Museum, Maningrida
Holmes a’ Court Collection, Perth, WA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Maningrida Collection, Sydney
Surfers Paradise, Queensland
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Australian National University, Central Collection, Canberra
Museum and Art Galleries of the N.T, Darwin
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
Christensen Collection, held at Museum of Victoria, Melbourne