Maria Cotter, PhD, Creative Practice, Arts, UNE, will present in the 2018 Arts Research Seminar series on Thursday, 31 May 2018, between 12.00 pm  and 1.00 pm in Oorala Lecture Theatre, Building (E22).

Title: “Brothers Doin’ Time: Incarceration and control as ‘leitmotifs’ in the representation, regulation and management of culturally modified trees in New South Wales

Image: ‘Salvaged and curated’ Aboriginal Scarred Tree, Barwon River, Walgett NSW. Photo: M.Cotter.

In this paper I focus attention on the representation, regulation, and management of two specific classes of culturally modified trees afforded heritage protection in New South Wales: notably, Aboriginal Scarred and Carved Trees. I do so with a lens informed by my cross-cultural experiences working with and for Aboriginal people in various heritage practitioner roles over the last 15 years or so. Using case studies drawn from regional, remote and metropolitan New South Wales I use the medium of ‘cultural landscape as text’ to examine and reflect upon contemporary management and curation of Aboriginal Scarred and Carved Trees. Illuminated by the casual but empathetic description of “Brothers Doin’ Time” made by an Aboriginal friend and colleague when ‘serendipitously’ visiting one such group of Scarred Trees with me, my examination draws attention to the recurring themes of Incarceration and Control of these significant and sacred items of Aboriginal material culture.

To see upcoming seminars in 2018, please visit the Seminars & Public Lectures page.