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. The traditional locality name, Kanyanyapilla, has 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, the first Kaurna campfire in about 170 years. It was the first of many to follow. This is the start of reconnecting with this small part of Kaurna Yerta Kaurna Country.
In 1993 an archaeological survey of Lot 50 was undertaken which found cultural material in almost 90% of test pits dug.
In 2015 Keryn Walshe, Principal Archaeologist, South Australian Museum, visited the site and also noted post contact artefacts. She has commenced field research which is ongoing. The location of the current field work was not examined in any detail in 1993 and a rich source of post contact artefacts has now been revealed. It will be some time before field collecting and follow up research and documentation is complete so it will be some time before the findings are available.
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 2, (River Redgum)
Use by Artists
Two artists have already used Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla to inform their work as part of the Sauerbier House residency and exhibition program. Sauerbier House is a newly opened art space located in an historic villa on the banks of the Onkaparinga River at Port Noarlunga, 11 kms away as the crow flies. It is run by the City of Onkaparinga and an artist-in residence program is a major activity.
The first artist-in-residence was Lisa Harms who is undertaking an ongoing project titled ‘window—sill—still—frame, or, ‘what is and isn’t there?’ Lisa visited Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla and has used imagery of the place in her work. Gavin contributed a text/spoken word piece to her project which was on exhibition in late 2015.
The artist-in-residence Dec 2015-Feb 2016 is Veronica Calarco. Veronica now mainly resides in North Wales where she has established her own international studio residency Stiwdio Maelor. She has also learnt to speak fluent Welsh. Veronica spent time at Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla and camped over several nights to inform aspects of her new work, on exhibition at Sauerbier House Feb-March, 2016.
Veronica arriving at Lot 50-Kanyanyapilla
The use of Lot50-Kanyanypilla by artists is welcome and if any artists would like to do so please contact Gavin to discuss.