Exploring the Digital Frontier

Art history/ Historiography, Crafts, Handlooms, Art

Exploring the Digital Frontier: Creating the Ngarluma map

Wood, Sharmila

Ngarluma Ngurra: Aboriginal Culture on the map evolved from a creative initiative exploring the intergenerational transmission of Ngarluma culture and tradition through arts with a focus on tabi, the Ngarluma poetry and song tradition translated in paintings by artist Jill Churnside. From a return trip to Country undertaken as part of this endeavour, the project grew to encompass the broader Ngarluma community who were interested in exploring ways to document and record their intangible cultural heritage. In response to the Ngarluma elders desire to develop a platform which would support the transmission of knowledge to younger people, Sharmila Wood (FORM) and Andrew Dowding (Tarruru) developed the concept of embedding Ngarluma cultural values in a digital map; they brokered support from Google Earth Outreach and were the recipient of the grant which rewards organizations with outstanding mapping ideas. The map was built around a series of field trips undertaken with Ngarluma elders. Along with Ngarluma place names, film, audio, photographs and text identify particular sites around Ngarluma country, lending an insight into Ngarluma ways of seeing country. The map was launched on November 8th at FORM in Western Australia as part of a broader exhibition which curates paintings, song and objects of material culture together in order to present the richness and depth of Ngarluma culture. Andrew Dowdi...
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