Daniel Boyd: Rainbow Serpent (Version)
Rainbow Serpent (Version) is Daniel Boyd’s first major exhibition in Meanjin/Brisbane, a place of cultural and ancestral significance for the artist. Featuring fifteen new paintings, a mirrored stage floor, and a program of live activations, it continues his interrogation of Western scientific, artistic, and philosophical thought and its role in establishing the colonial Australian state.
Spanning subjects from classical antiquity to his own family, Boyd’s paintings articulate the visual language of imperial placemaking, particularly as it materialised in Queensland. Arranged in conceptual groupings, they contend with the ways colonisation has disrupted cultural tradition and infiltrated our civic imagination. Inspired by the dot pattern in his paintings, Boyd’s the network of mirrored lenses on the gallery floor illuminates these narratives and engages audiences in their reconstruction.
Throughout the exhibition, Indigenous scholars, artists, activists, and community groups will share the gallery space—through a program of performances, discussions, and yarning—in a poetic act of civic and cultural reclamation. By reasserting cultural authority in a colonised environment, this collaborative occupation will serve as a poignant reminder of the resilience of First People, whose 60,000-year cultural traditions remain unbroken, despite ongoing imperial expansion.
Transcending temporal and spatial bounds, Rainbow Serpent (Version) unfolds as a vast universe of embodied experience, designed to unlock new ways of understanding history, place and identity. Drawing attention to these layered and multifaceted histories, Boyd invites us to reconsider the lenses through which we view the past, present, and future.