Rainbow Serpent

Materials: acrylic inks, Canson card; natural fibre papers

Technique: papermaking, calligraphy, stamping, paper cutting

Size: 7 x 15 cm

Description: The legend of the Rainbow Serpent forms part of the beliefs of many tribes from diverse parts of Australia. Although the details vary, there is a common belief in a huge and powerful snake, which lived in caves or waterholes, and which is responsible for bringing rain and fertility. I have written variations of this widely-known legend in the colours of inland Australia, and in the shape of a snake. 

I made the cave using recycled paper which includes paperbark (from Melaleuca trees which grow naturally in most parts of Australia). I kept the paper textured to represent the roughly-hewn bark. The nomadic aborigines carried their possessions and food in containers made from paperbark, so this 'packaging' for the Rainbow Serpent represents the verbal transmission of the sacred, and sometimes secret, legends and customs from one generation to the next.


Printed in “Somerset Studio” (USA) in 1999.
Exhibited in my solo exhibition “The Language of Nature I” exhibition at Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha in 2012 (read more information about this in my Residency Blog).


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