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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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Painting no. 7, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Everybody builds shelters because a storm is coming

2006.0077.0007

Painting no. 7, Rainbow Serpent story by Dick Roughsey - Everybody builds shelters because a storm is coming

Object information

Physical description

An oil painting on board in a wood and white coloured frame. The painting is set against a lurid, orange-pink coloured sky, the painting features a small group of indigenous men and women standing in a clearing with their backs to the viewer and looking at the rainbow serpent slowly entering a bark shelter in the middle distance. 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, '#7' is written in black marker on the top middle of the frame.

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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