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England Banggala

(1925-2001)

Alias: England Bangala

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Biography

England Bangala (Banggala)

He was born around 1925 in central Arnhem Land and passed away in 2001. He worked with the Maningrida art centre. His prints and paintings reflected the high status which he held in the traditional ceremonies of his community.

His pictorial style combines elements of the west and central Arnhem Land traditions. The organic forms he represents in his work often depict the elements of Gunardba women travelling across the land, creating sacred sites, law and language for the Gunardba people. These elements now reside in spirit form at sites specific to the An-ngulin clan.

A strong vigorous flow is characterised in Banggala’s work with its graphic boldness. The cross hatching is found within the figures and the schematic motifs of his work rather than in the background, as is more common to the art of Arnhem Land. The broad areas of colour, dotted subdivisions and plain background reflect Banggala’s association with the Rembarrnga. Rembarrnga art is not easily classifiable because most artists of this group paint in distinctly individual and different ways. The most likely reason for this divergence is geographical. The Rembarrnga speaking people own land over a vast area of south-western and south-central Arnhem Land, some of it inaccessible and therefore isolated. This has caused each small group to develop their particular traditions somewhat differently. The art of the group as a whole shares common themes of water and stone country and spirit figures.

He was active as an artist since 1974 and has been involved in numerous exhibitions; his works is held in many public and private galleries and collections.

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Aboriginal Art (991)