A Public Art Sculpture at Jezzine Barracks, Townsville, in collaboration with Aboriginal Artist Billy Doolan.


Gabul Ceremonies represents part of the Gabul Creation Story as told by the Palm Island People. Gabul (The Big Carpet Python) is represented by the black and yellow pebbles near the centre of the sculpture, and is based on parts of a sketch by Billy Doolan. The brown pebbles represent the land and coastline of the region, and the granite bolder at the centre of the work represents the raised landforms (hills and islands).

When you view the sculpture from the south, looking due North, the right hand side of the pit of pebbles is shaped to represent the coastline of the Townsville region with Cape Cleveland, Cape Pallarenda, Magnetic Island, and representations for Palm Island, Orpheus Island, Noogoo and Eumilli Islands.

The figures represent specific characters from the story.

One of the most rewarding parts of the project has been getting to meet and work with Billy Doolan. He is such a special person. I feel so lucky to have met Billy and to have the friendship that we do. “For me, Gabul Ceremonies has a very special feel to it not only because of the amazing vista and feel of the site location, but because the experience has been a really insightful and special one. I have a different experience every time I visit Gabul Ceremonies, the shadows and the light bring different parts of the work into focus. The shadows formed by the figures of the sculpture fall in different ways at different times of day, and in different seasons. Every visit to the work is unique, I really hope people will take the time to enjoy these experiences”.

As you walk along the Jezzine Ethno-Botanical course, the pathway meanders across the face of the hill and when you begin to approach the top of the path, Gabul Ceremonies can be seen from many different perspectives.

The representation for the Big Snake “Gabul” has come from the original sketches of Gabul done by Billy Doolan. The black and yellow patterns at the centre of the sculpture represent Gabul and are representative of the markings on a python.

Billy tells me that the Clever Man had special abilities and was an important person within the tribe. In the story he performed the ceremonies that helped rescue the girl from Gabul.  For the full story please follow the story link above. The markings on the chest and upper arms of the sculpture are traditional tribal markings for the Clever Man and were painted by Billy.

Photography by Giuseppe Vizzone, Amanda Feher and Wyn Binmore

BACK to Public Art Sculptures

  • Project: Jezzine Barracks Redevelopment
  • Media: Mixed Media, 1500mm x 3500mm x 1700mm
  • Project Coordinators: Jumbana Group
  • Year: 2013

3 Responses

  1. wpadmin


  2. Very moving. Congratulations

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