John Williams

Thuwathu, 2020

79 x 59.5 cm

Acrylic on Belgian linen


"This fellow, Thuwathu, he is the Rainbow Serpent. Thuwathu is his language name in our Lardil language. He died when his sister Bulthuku (Shore Bird), light him up with fire when he wouldn't share his humpy with her and her baby Jindirrbu (Willy-wagtail). Her baby died because of the cold rain when Thuwathu wouldn't give them shelter. He formed the country, as he was rolling around in pain and his scales rubbed up against the earth making rivers, hills, creeks, watering holes, swamps and creating sacred places. In different parts of Gununa he left behind his body parts to form sacred places for the people.

Now you see him up in the sky as the many different colours of the rainbow."