I am planning to go on a photocamp at Wentworth in NSW next week for the Mallee Routes project. I leave after Anzac Day, on Friday 26th of April. Whilst there I plan to explore along the lower Darling River, which is in dire straits due to the massive increased water use upstream, bad water management and corruption. The result is that the Darling is no longer a healthy river system.
During this photocamp I also plan to scope and to start to make some photos for the Our River Our Country project. I have yet to make any photos for the latter project, as it is still in the embryonic stage of designing the project, inviting other photographers to participate, and taking advice from gallery directors and curators about how best to respond to the Godson Collection. There is still a lot of preliminary work to do before we start applying for grants for a curator and various residencies.
The photo above was made near the Nor’west Bend at Morgan on the western side of the River Murray. The Nor’west Bend is where, in October 1839, the overlanders, who were driving their cattle and sheep on the Overland Stock Route between Sydney and Adelaide killed 11 Aboriginal people in retaliation to the local indigenous (the Ngayawung) people) attacking the overlander’s party and stock and killing the overseer (Thomas Young). This is one of the early massacres of aboriginal people in South Australia. The overland stock route was a site of frontier conflict and aboriginal resistance. The South Australian colony was almost bankrupt and any threat to the overland route threatened the financial viability of the Colony. Continue reading