This work represents Garrimala, a billabong near the artist's residence, the Dha`walu clan homeland at Gålgal. It is a sacred site for the artists' mother's Gålpu clan. But this imagery refers to perhaps the oldest continuous human religious iconographical practice - the story of the Rainbow Serpent. Estimates of the age of these icons vary from 40,000-6,000 years on the depictions of the Rainbow Serpent in West Arnhem rock shelters.
Wititj is the all powerful rainbow serpent (olive python) that travelled through Gålpu clan lands and even further on, during the days of early times called Wa'arr. Djaykun, the Javanese filesnake is a companion and possibly alternate incarnation of Wititj, living amongst the Dhatam, or water lillies, causing ripples and rainbows (Djari) on the surface of the water (one reference in his cross hatch).
The story of Wititj is of storm and monsoon, in the ancestral past. It has particular reference to the mating of Wititj during the beginning of the wet season when the Djarrwa (square shaped thunder cloud) begin forming and the lightning starts striking. The Galpu clan miny'tji (sacred clan design behind the lillies) represents Djari (rainbows) and the power of the lightning within them. It also refers to the power of the storm created by Wititj, the diagonal lines representing trees that have been knocked down as Wititj moves from place to place. The ribs of the snake also form the basis of the sacred design here.
The sun shining against the scales of the snake form a prism of light like a rainbow. The arc which a snake in motion travels through holds to a rainbow shape but causes the oily shimmer to refract the colours of the rainbow. The power of the lightning is made manifest when they strike their tongue. The thunder being the sound they make as they move along the ground.
The morning after a major cyclone there are swathes of stringybark bent over in snake trails through the bush in just the same way a normal scale snake leaves bent over grass traceable by trained trackers. After Cyclone Monica there was a path cleared through the stringybark forest almost from Maningrida to Jabiru. The dots within the circle represent the water lily seedpod.