Exhibition at Parliament House
Canberra Oct 2005
11 AM 2966/05
Rosalind Langford Butterflies & Dragons on the Franklin 2005
Acrylic on Galacia linen 800 x 1410mm SOLD
This painting is my interpretations of my encounter with Butterflies and Dragonflies when with others I rafted
(for the first time in my life) down the Franklin River.
During the Franklin River protest period, Aboriginal people held their own separate protest to protect their
Aboriginal sites on the Franklin.
3 Aboriginals, myself included together with 3 non Aboriginal experienced rafters hiked to the Franklin to raft
down it and visit a very Aboriginal spiritual place Kuti Kina cave.
Upon arriving at the Franklin late afternoon, along the edge of the bank were clusters of yellow and white daisies.
To steady my nerves while I waited for the rafts to be prepared for the party to raft to base camp for the night, I
made a long daisy chain, as I wanted to show my respect to the water spirits of the Franklin by offering a gift to
the spirits before my journey and to hope the spirits would keep us all safe.
Being a person who had never rafted and also being a non-swimmer, it was important for me to have the spirits
watch over me during my journey.
Whilst sitting on the banks of the Franklin making my gift to the spirits the sky seemed to fill with 1,000
fluttering wings of butterflies. Then these 5 golden dragons also joined the flight. I was overcome with joy, to see
the dragonflies, because I had been told as a girl, never, never kill a dragonfly, for they are a symbol of good luck
and protection. It was like a flying message letting us know that we would be safe on our journey.
My fear abated and as I rafted with others tossed my daisy chain gift in to the waters of the Franklin River and
knew from somewhere deep in my heart that all would be ok
I am positive the butterflies and dragonflies came to let us know that the spirits of the Franklin River had accepted
my gift and they ensured that no harm would happen to our little group during our journey.