Garlooroony Doo Wirrirril (The Rainbow Serpent and the Lorikeets)

Shirley PURDIE: artist

Not On Display

About the work

This is the painting I made about garlooroony, the rainbow serpent’s husband. When the thunder starts and the rain starts falling, that’s the time these things appear, he vomits out the little green lorikeets and the witchetty grubs. He sings “All the little green lorikeets, all the witchetty grubs, are you going to keep falling down to me?” Yes he is sitting near the river singing and talking about the rain so that it will fall for the lorikeets and everything. They all drop down when he vomits them out. Well we only see these little green lorikeets when the rain starts. When the thunder roars they come out. And maybe these witchetty grubs too but in the wood of the red river gum and among the roots of the turpentine Acacia. He carries them in his hairbelt when he comes out with them and throws them down. He is the husband of the rainbow snake. But we don’t see him properly. People say he is like the limestone that is why I painted him like this. The female one that I call mother comes out and people look at her. But this one, when he makes those things come out, if you run, the ground and everything will be moving ready for him to pull you in. Here (as the main background to the painting) I used a bright colour. I made it like that because when the country is shining maybe with the first rain.
Garlooroony Doo Wirrirril (The Rainbow Serpent and the Lorikeets)
Artist/Maker and role
Shirley PURDIE: artist
natural ochre, charcoal and PVA on canvas
100.0 x 140.0 cm
Credit line
Purchased through The Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation: COVID-19 Arts Stimulus Package, 2020
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.