We know John Rowdy Wylie as a painter of the Australian outback though we did get an inkling that he has great love and experience with the coast and sea in his post on Going to sea with Rowdy Wylie and Nicolas Baudin on the S.S. Casuarina.
Today, and in some posts to come, Rowdy and I are taking you along the coast to share the beauty of seascapes and to explore the endless possibilities for creativity.
A natural segue to the coast is from our previous blog articles on Post, Fences and Gates as wooden structures form such an important part in connecting the natural environment of the sea with human habitation of the land.
Piers, jetties, causeways, wharves have been built as ways of harnessing the sea for human purposes. And bird life is very grateful for these additional perching places!
So much happens along the coast but as Rowdy has reminded us in his narrative paintings - humans have been using the coast for thousands of years.
Rowdy is a South Australian and has recorded in paint recognition of the Ngarrindjeri people - the traditional Aboriginal Australian people of the lower Murray River, eastern Fleurieu Peninsula, and the Coorong of the southern-central area of the state of South Australia.
The term ngarrindjeri means "belonging to men", and refers to a "tribal constellation". The Ngarrindjeri actually comprised several distinct if closely related tribal groups, including the Jarildekald, Tanganekald, Meintangk and Ramindjeri, who began to form a unified cultural bloc after remnants of each separate community congregated at Raukkan, South Australia (formerly Point McLeay Mission).1
According to David Horton's map "Aboriginal Australia", the Ngarrindjeri lands lie along the Coorong coastline, from Victor Harbor on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula in the north, to Cape Jaffa in the south. According to the map, the lands extend inland just north of Murray Bridge, receding to a 15-to-20 km (9.3-to-12.4 mi) wide coastal strip west of the Murray River lower lakes, but extending further inland in the south to a point near the state border at Coonawarra. The lands include both of the Murray lower lakes, Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert. En.wikipedia
Fresh water systems are fundamental to Australia’s first people who have nurtured a deep understanding of water. Please join with Rowdy and me to listen to the voice of the Ngarrindjeri people who have managed water in the Coorong and Lower lakes region for thousands of years.
Rowdy and I will return to continue our investigation of the coast very soon but
tomorrow Jane has joined in Coast to Coast with a sculpture which adorns the shoreline close to her home in Melbourne, Victoria.