About the artwork: Pandanus Dreaming
This original screenprint is a depiction of Jin-gubardabiya, the pandanus mat/weaving dreaming (creation story). Jin-gubardabiya is a major Ancestral Being, for the An-nguliny clan that Bangala belongs to. This is a female spirit symbolic of themes associated with fertility and regeneration. In traditional life women covered themselves with woven pandanus mats during menstruation and childbirth.
The Jin-gubardabiya spirits are said to be like mermaids and are the An-nguliny clan spirits that enter a woman at time of conception. In this print Jin-gubardabiya is depicted in the form of several woven pandanus dilly bags that are arranged in a ring around a circle that represents the waterhole at the site of Wangarr A-juwana, adjacent to important clan billabong called Boporlinymarr. Dilly bags had many uses, both sacred and secular.
- Limited edition screenprint on paper
- Edition: 99
- Editioned: August, 1999
- Size: 49 x 62 cm (image), 56 x 76 cm (paper)
- Paper: Magnani 350 gms
- Printer & Studio: Jo Diggens, Northern Editions Darwin, NT
About the artist: England Bangala (Banggala)
England Bangala was born circa 1925 in central Arnhem Land and passed away in 2001. His traditional lands are in Central Arnhem Land and for many years he was a member of Maningrida Arts and Culture. In his later years he spent time with family in Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) in West Arnhem Land and painted for Injalak Arts. In Maningrida England painted exclusively on bark, however, in Gunbalanya he often used Arches Aquarelle watercolour paper.
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 language/tribal people. 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 belong to 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.
During his life England was included in more than 40 group and solo exhibitions within Australia and overseas including in Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. His artworks have been reproduced and referenced in numerous publications.
Provenance: This edition was created in partnership with Maningrida Arts & Culture and commissioned by Anne Phelan and John Clark of Framed Gallery, the premier and groundbreaking fine art and craft gallery that operated in Darwin from 1984-2017. The artist was paid at the time of printing.
This artwork was distributed by the Australian Art Print Network.