Sunday, 15 December 2019

Conversations with a tree


Melbourne street trees began to be planted at early as 1840, just five years after John Batman and JP Fawkner charged up Bass Strait from Van Dieman's Land to begin the largest and quickest land grab of Kulin Nation lands in Australian history.

Tree were chosen for aesthetic reasons but completed the colonising effect of permanently changing Melbourne's environment. Elm and Plane trees steer the course of the Hoddle grid, our CBD and the boulevards that radiate out into the suburbs.

In 1931 the trees along St Kilda Road included 72 plane, 530 elms, 256 poplars and about 40 flowering gums.

My 'kitz'...

is Berliner slang for my local neighbourhood, the boundaries within which my intimate and professional life circle.

The trees of my
I live in an apartment, I walk and ride everywhere. I use the broad streets of North Melbourne in my daily transit. These streets are lined with the trees, brought from Britain to modify this colony. The plane tree and the elm trees I pass each day give me great pleasure, shelter and oxygen. Our conversations, the moments I stop, touch and spend time with each sentient tree is important. It starts with,

What grew here before you?
What change have you seen?

This body of work captures these many conversations, embodied in clay.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Visit to Djab Wurrung & Gunditjmara Country Tour

Images from a four day trip across western Victoria to visit indigenous cultural centres, architecture and farming sites.

Rock art, Northern Gariwerd,

Djab Wurrung Country

“Bunjil Shelter sits within the Gariwerd, a cultural landscape that supports our people both physically and spiritually. Bunjil created our land, our people, the plants and animals, our religion and the laws by which we live. He is the leading figure in our spiritual life, essential in teaching our young people the importance of our laws and beliefs,” Levi Lovett, local custodian, Parks Victoria.

Fencing required to protect this rock art site. 

Brambuk Cultural Centre

Gunditjmara Country

Mackenzie & Fish Falls Walk



Tower Hill Bush Tucker Tour with Jackie

Wattle seed baked into a loaf, uncovered by a plough in 1938

Bush Tucker - images only didn't take notes!

Warrigal Greens


 Spring babies. Animals reintroduced to the park in 1960s.


Robin Boyd designed Natural History Centre, 1967

Colleen helps a turtle across the road and to the lake.

 Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation Office in Heywood. 

Image of original possum skin cloak in Museum Victoria from seven Gunditjmara elders from the Lake Condah Mission c. 1870s and new cloak make with Vicki Couzins

 Budj Bim Tour

Spring fed water way that cuts through the massive lava flow that is Budj Bim area. 


Opening always faces north-east towards kind weather

Interior of stone houses package out with clay.

Blackwood rafters, black wattle fill, clay, flowering bush on roof

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in the traditional Country of the Gunditjmara Aboriginal people in south-eastern Australia, consists of three serial components containing one of the world’s most extensive and oldest aquaculture systems. The Budj Bim lava flows provide the basis for the complex system of channels, weirs and dams developed by the Gunditjmara in order to trap, store and harvest kooyang (short-finned eel – Anguilla australis). The highly productive aquaculture system provided an economic and social base for Gunditjmara society for six millennia. The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is the result of a creational process narrated by the Gunditjmara as a deep time story, referring to the idea that they have always lived there. From an archaeological perspective, deep time represents a period of at least 32,000 years. The ongoing dynamic relationship of Gunditjmara and their land is nowadays carried by knowledge systems retained through oral transmission and continuity of cultural practice.

Massacre Sculpture - Victoria 
Initiated by Regional Arts Victoria in partnership with Lake Condah Sustainability Development Project as part of a statewide initiative called ‘Fresh and Salty, artists Carmel Wallace and Vicki Couzens designed a sculpture with artistic references to the traditional use of water by Indigenous and European people. 


Remains, Lake Condah Mission

End of tour with Braden, Veronica, Robyn, Kath, Me & Colleen