From water, dreams, art

“THERE is found in widely separated parts of Australia a belief in a huge serpent, which lives in certain pools or water-holes. This serpent is associated, and sometimes identified, with the rainbow. In many instances, it is also associated with quartz-crystal, doubtless from the prismatic colours visible in the latter. Now rock-crystal, in a great number of Australian tribes, is regarded as a substance of great magical virtue,” wrote the late English anthropologist, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, in “The Rainbow-Serpent Myth of Australia.”

This photo series records a glimmering recent incarnation of the rainbow serpent, or dream snake, in the Australian garden at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Commissioned in 2008, the project was overseen by Arboretum artist-in-residence Leigh Adams, who gives a gripping account of the dream snake legend at her website. “Before all this was here, there was dreaming, only dreaming