Regeneration is a tricky word when it comes to culture and has different nuances and meanings. It is some form of renewal, revival or re-creation and seems the most apt descriptor for the moment.
Gavin recognises the Williams family clan as the senior Kaurna cultural custodians of the Willunga Basin region. They have been leading the way in cultural and spiritual renewal and caring for Country for many decades. Senior members of the clan have full access to the land for cultural purposes. They will help guide the ecological regeneration to provide the attributes of a traditional Kaurna cultural landscape. As well as private cultural activities, a program of bicultural education, cultural presentation, research activities and events is envisaged.
Bestowing or adopting a Kaurna place name is a considered process which takes into account known place names, the source of the name, cultural practices and the physical topography. Fortunately, the traditional locality name, Kanyanyapilla, was recorded in 1839 and has therefore been adopted for this project and place as part of the bi-cultural naming. An explanation of the name is available on the Cultural History page.
Linguist Flavia Hodges has explained the importance of place names this way:
Before Australia was colonised by European settlers, the Indigenous inhabitants had names for every topographical feature of significance to them.
An important contrast with the subsequent introduced system of placenaming, Indigenous place names forms structured, interlinked networks in which places, together with their names and attributes, are related to each other in complex ways reflecting the relationship between people and the land they inhabit. Place names are not arbitrary, but integral to the places to which they are attached, and derive from the activities of Ancestor figures in the Dreaming … (Hodges, 2007:383)
In June 2015 Karl Telfer, senior custodian, and three young men camped overnight around a campfire at Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla, the first Kaurna campfire in about 170 years. It was the first of many to follow. This was the start of reconnecting with this small part of Kaurna Yerta Kaurna Country.
In 1993 an archaeological survey of Lot 50 was undertaken as part of the assessment of a sand mining proposal. Aboriginal cultural material was found in almost 90% of test pits dug.
In 2015 Keryn Walshe, Project Archaeologist, also noted post contact artefacts; Aboriginal tools made of glass and other materials introduced by the colonists. Preliminary field research has now been undertaken. The location of this field work was not examined in any detail in 1993 (the area was overgrown) and a rich source of post contact artefacts has now been revealed. Follow up research and documentation is well advanced and findings are expected to be published in an academic journal.
Preliminary Site Investigations
Bottle/jar bases used as scrapers
Glass fragments used as scrapers or punches
Gavin recognises the settlement process, land use history and achievements of the district. The impacts, positive and negative, of the incoming culture in the Willunga Basin permeate the region and are fairly self-evident. Activities and infrastructure will reflect aspects of this; cultural markers (sculptural forms, structures and cultural interpretation) express personal perspectives.
Tellurian Spirit (River Redgum)
Tellurian Spirit 2, (River Redgum)
Use by Artists
Three artists have used L50K to inform their work as part of the Sauerbier House residency and exhibition program. Sauerbier House is a City of Onkaparinga art space located in an historic villa on the banks of the Onkaparinga River at Port Noarlunga, 11 kms away as the crow flies.
Lisa Harms, the first artist-in-residence, visited L50K and used imagery of the place in her work. Gavin contributed a text/spoken word piece to her project which was on exhibition late 2015.
Veronica Calarco, artist-in-residence Dec 2015-Feb 2016, camped over at L50K several nights to inform aspects of her new work. Veronica mainly resides in North Wales where she has established her own international studio residency Stiwdio Maelor. She has also learnt to speak fluent Welsh.
Andrew Smith, artist-in-residence Oct-Dec 2018, also camped over at L50K several nights to inform aspects of his new work. Andrew is from North Wales-London.
Veronica arriving at Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla
The use of L50K by artists is welcome and if any artists would like to do so please contact Gavin to discuss.