Stock Works 13

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86 AM 11742/15
Bill Harney Gorondolmi - Rainbow Serpent 2015
Acrylic & natural ochres & fixative on Berge linen
1260 x 2480mm

Gorrondolmi the Rainbow Serpent is associated with the regenerative as well as the destructive forces of the wet season. This particular work relates to a rock painting of Gorrondolmi with two arms and ears near the Lightning Brothers Nimji art site at Yingalarri. He used his arm to swim along creating the currents symbolized by the outer wavy lines.

It refers to Gorrondolmi's creation of the sea and the water-dwelling children he had with the Frog Woman Dungdung. She created the earth and the circle below the Rainbow's two arms home indicates her dwelling underground. Dungdung also created many different Lightning People with her second husband Nardi and they both proceeded to teach the girls and boys about Wardaman law and how to respect and regulate the forces of nature. The women performed their own ceremonies depicted by the various circular motifs under the Rainbow, while those of top refer to the men's ceremonies

Gorrondolmi was angered by the performance of the original Lightning People because he wanted all the different species to live together in his underwater domain. Dungdung refused to subvert the social order in this way so Rainbow retaliated by flooding the land. The floodwaters were dispersed after Gorrondolmi was killed by the Grey Falcon.

The Falcon threw the spear to kill the Rainbow and the circle (above his neck) represents Rainbow's head being cut off and all the power of the Rainbow to hold up the water, gone, and no more water on the land. His eyeball flew off to Rainbow Eye waterhole at Bulinin on the Flora River (circle above the neck). This is why he only has one eye. The stripes are representing all the waves in the water as he's travelling, moving his body up and down. This is the Gorrondolmi Dreaming caring for the land. The Sky Boss Nardi and Dungdung are happy, 'You people must care for the country, care for it properly, don't destroy it otherwise everything will go dry again.'

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