The aim of this article is to assist readers in identifying if their bark painting is by Bobyin Nongah by comparing it to other examples of his work. Bobyin Nongah bark painting are in the Port Keats Style using traditional ochres.
If you have a Bobyin Nongah 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.
Bobyin Nongah earlier works are all on oval shaped pieces of bark. His later works are on rectangular pieces of bark but the corners have often been rounded off. His most desirable works are those that depict ceremonies . Other collectable works are those with abstract churinga like designs. He also did a few works on composite board which are rectangular. All of his works that i could find centre around the Rainbow Serpent.
As with other artists working in Port Keats, Bobyin Nongah would have been leading a bit of a double life where he was church going but also had strong traditional beliefs. This is reflected in his Bark paintings. He uses sacred designs which he was obviously initiated and allowed to use but they are hidden within the painting. These paintings were then sold by the missionaries who were trying to discourage these same traditional practices.
The Majority of Port Keats bark painting artists names were never recorded and Bobyin Nongah along with Charlie Brinken Indji Tharwul, Charlie Mardigan, Charlie rock Ngumbe and Nym Bunduk are among the only artists named.
Along with many other Arnhem Land Artists who did bark paintings, there is not a lot of information readily available about Bobyin Nongah. All I can find is that he probably belonged to the Murrinh-Thebin people and was most active in the 1960’s. If anyone knows more information about the biography of Bobyin Nongah, please contact me as I would like to add it to this article.
Bobyin Nongah Bark Painting Images
The following is not a complete set of the artists work but give a very good idea of the style and variety of the artist.
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