Gunnedah’s Rainbow Serpent wins 2020 Best Rural Art Silver Award

Gunnedah Shire Council

The much-loved Gunnedah Rainbow Serpent Water Feature has captured national attention, taking home silver in the 2020 Australian Street Art Awards in the category of Best Rural Art.

The Awards showcase public art and recognise regions that are using outdoor, publicly-accessible art to promote their destination and engage their community.

Installed in 2020, the Rainbow Serpent Water Feature realised a long term dream after local Kamilaroi women persisted for almost 20 years to bring this important story to life.

Cultural Precinct Team Leader Lauren Mackley said the prestigious award recognised the determination of generations of Kamilaroi artists.

“Shirley Long, Janet Wanless, L. Delma Jones, L. Ellen Draper, Gloria Foley, June Cox, Alison Cox, Rita Long and Cindy Foley have drawn on their culture, traditions, families, history and experiences to create this unique water feature,” Ms Mackley said.

“Those stories are preserved in the 29 circular mosaics that are the feature of this public art piece.

“This award also recognises Gunnedah as a street art destination. Since the completion of the Rainbow Serpent, our public art offering has continued to grow with projects like the Dorothea Mackellar silo art and the Arts Gunnedah mural in the Conadilly Street arcade.”

The Rainbow Serpent Water feature is the final stage of the TRAC Sculpture Court Public Art Project at the Gunnedah Cultural Precinct, which also delivered The River Red Gum Tree, installed in 2002 in the Mooki Room and the Water Mural, installed in 2005 in the Mooki Courtyard.

This is the sculpture’s second accolade, having last year received the Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture NSW Local Government Award for strategic planning for arts and culture.

Caption: L-R: Clr Owen Hasler, Cindy Foley, Lauren Mackley, Gloria Foley, Shirley Long, June Cox and Janet Wanless.

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