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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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Painting no. 2, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Goorialla leaves Narabyllgan and travels north

2006.0077.0002

Painting no. 2, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Goorialla leaves Narabyllgan and travels north

Object information

Physical description

An oil painting on board with a gold coloured frame. The painting is set against an aqua and orange tinted sky, and in a clearing with native flora in the foreground, a large horned rainbow serpent moves across the landscape emerging through the rocky outcrop of hills in the background. The word 'WARRENBY' appears in the lower right hand corner of the painting while the word 'GOOBALATHALDIN' appears in the lower left. On the reverse of the painting, '# 2' is written in black marker on the top middle of the masonite board.

Statement of significance

The Dick Roughsey Rainbow Serpent collection consists of 16 works produced for the children's book 'The Rainbow Serpent' (1975) by Lardil artist Dick Roughsey (Goobalathaldin).

The rainbow serpent is an important ancestral being in Indigenous communities and emerged in ancestral stories and related manifestations for the first time some 3,000 to 6,000 years ago. 'The Rainbow Serpent' won a Children's Picture Book of the Year Award in 1976 and was one of seven successful children's books produced by Dick Roughsey in collaboration with his colleague and friend Percy Tresize.

Object information

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