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Mapping Country

Interpretive Wonderings is an exhibition produced in collaboration with the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation. It presents works shaped by the stories and history of the country of Culpra Station, NSW.

The exhibition at the Mildura Arts Centre reflects and represents a coming together through diversity of a range of Aboriginal artists and non-Indigenous creative practitioners, in a collaboration underpinned by a shared commitment to the preservation, protection, promotion and celebration of Aboriginal culture and custodianship through country.

In September 2015, 30 Indigenous and non-indigenous creative practitioners gathered at Culpra Station for a workshop to map the material and immaterial qualities of the country.

A former grazing and cropping property on the Murray River floodplain, the station is situated on the traditional country of the Barkandji people and home to a number of significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.

This project is a collaboration between Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, RMIT University, University of Technology Sydney and Monash University in which a mapping workshop took place to develop artworks that challenge cartographic convention.

The project team – Jock Gilbert (Lecturer RMIT Landscape Architecture), Campbell Drake (UTS), Sven Mehzoud (Monash) and Sophia Pearce (La Trobe) – took part and co-ordinated the production of a series of mappings developed in response to local stories and country.

The mappings produced often challenge the notion of what is generally accepted to be a map and include drawings, paintings, video and audio installations and performance pieces. In essence, the Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, architects, landscape architects, creative practitioners and artists involved have sought to open up ways of seeing and expressing ideas and knowledge shared on country.

The exhibition tells us something about Culpra, how the artists experienced and engaged with the land and show some of the numerous ways to map and interpret a place. It includes a hands-on experience with artefacts that are connected to the works and Culpra Station as well as a range of historical maps of the region and the property along with an educational component.

What: Interpretive Wonderings exhibition
Opening: Twilight Event, Friday 19 February
Exhibition dates: 20 February to 10 April 2016
Where: Mildura Arts Centre, 199 Cureton Ave Mildura Victoria 3500

Press Releases
Listen to RN Afternoons on More than one way to map country
Article in abc Radio National
Article in Sunraysia Daily

Project Team- Collaborators
Jock Gilbert, Campbell Drake, Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney, Sven Mehzoud, Lecturer, Monash University, Sophia Pearce, PhD Candidate, LaTrobe University
Industry Parters – Collaborators Team
Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation, represented by:Mr and Mrs Barry and Betty Pearce, Mildura Arts Centre: Mildura Rural City Council, represented by:Antonette Zema, Arts and Culture Development Manager and Heather Lee, Gallery & Heritage Team Leader
Industry Partners- Supporters
Local Land Services, Western Region (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage), represented by: Russell Grant, Manager Land Services; Ronni ODonnell, Senior Land Services Officer Aboriginal Communities; Benjamin Slingsby, Team Leader Land Services; Steve McGlashan, Local Community Manager. West Darling Arts, (Regional Arts NSW) represented by:Cherry Pratt, Executive Officer, Kathy Graham, Aboriginal Arts Development Officer.
Date: April 2016
Status: Current