This project sits within the field of visual communication design and curatorial practice. The project builds upon a body of critical cartographic work that sees mapping as ‘performative, participatory and political.’ Positioning the map beyond being an ‘instrument for preserving meaning and truth,’ this form of critical mapping challenges the stable, ontological distribution of power inherent in conventional cartography which often involves itself in the production of fixed conditions including boundaries, ideas, concepts, territories and relationships.
The research contributes to the development of new approaches to interpretive mapping that provide significant insights into Indigenous and non-Indigenous spatial sensibilities towards sites of cultural significance and Country. The project centred around 26 mappings produced during a workshop at Culpra Station, an 8,000-hectare property situated in rural New South Wales. In September 2015, 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants were invited to Culpra Station to produce interpretive mappings through which to explore multivalent understandings of country.
The outcome of the research is a collection of interpretive mappings in a variety of media including recordings, tracking, performance, video, composition, assemblages, writing, drawings, poetry, and photography. Whilst this diversity is reflected through the media, approach and outcome of the individual offerings, the significance of the project is through collaboration and knowledge sharing, extending to a larger project of reconciliation through mutual understanding.
The research was produced in collaboration with Culpra Milli Aboriginal Corporation and exhibited at Mildura Arts Centre with funding from Mildura Regional City Council, Western Local Land Services, and West Darling Arts.