The aim of this article is to assist readers in identifying if their aboriginal bark painting is by Peter Nabarlambarl by comparing examples of his work.
If you have a Peter Nabarlambarl bark painting to sell please contact me. If you just want to know what your bark painting is worth to me please feel free to send me a Jpeg because I would love to see it.
Peter Nabarlambarl are all on rectangular pieces of bark with backgrounds of red ochre or Black. His work is distinctive from many later artists because like Dick Murramurra he does not use cross hatching but closs parallel lines. His figures do not have the sex showing and are covered with loincloths. His most distinctive works are those of the sugarbag people which are depicted with large haunting eyes.
His figures tend to be of Mimi Sugar Bag people and Namarrkon the lightning god. He painted many different Arnhem Land animals includung Brolga, Kangaroo, emu, catfish, turtle, goanna, dingo and crocodile
Peter Nabarlambarl was born around 1930 in his home country on the upper Mann River of the Arnhemland Plateau. He was from Djordi clan and spoke Kunwinjku Language. As a young boy he stayed in this area and received a traditional education and initiation. He was taught to paint on bark by his father and grandfather, and his style is like those seen on rock shelters.
When he was a young man he left his home country and went to live at Maranboy where he obtained work as a stockman, driving cattle. This work took him as far as Alice Springs and Mt. Isa on droving runs. Peter met and married a woman from Maranboy and together they had 3 boys and 2 girls. Neither of his sons went through their age grading ceremonies, and so he did not passed on to them his stories and designs. He moved with his family back to Gurrgurr where he lived for a number of years before his wife passed away. After this Peter met a girl from Momega and married her.
As an older man he was held in high regard by, anthropologists and museum curators. He knew many sacred sites in Western Arnhem Land,and the myths attached to the rock paintings
He was blind for the last 12 months of his life because of eye problems and died in 2001.
Images of other paintings done by Peter Nabarlambarl
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