Dhuwarr: a celebration of Gamilaroi grasses, grains and placemaking

Stories from Gamilaraay Country are the protagonists of Dhuwarr: a celebration of Gamilaroi grasses, grains and placemaking. The installation shares an insight into techniques, flora and environments including those involved in the complex task of bread-making.

Through found artefacts, the act of grinding grains with water to make bread can be dated back to 30,000 years ago, suggesting that the first known bakers of this dietary staple were Aboriginal people. Engineering practices to harvest endemic grasses for their grains spans across many generations, and today they are an integral part in passing down knowledge relating to Country.

Dhuwarr is designed to showcase the importance of Australian native grasses in food production. The installation creates a distinct community experience in the form of placemaking which highlights the significance of Indigenous knowledge and the research being undertaken at the University of Sydney’s Planting Breeding Institute in Narrabri led by scientist Dr Angela Pattison. Dr Pattison’s research focuses on the production and commercial viability of native Australian grasses and grains, cultivated for thousands of years by First Nations people on Gamilaraay Country.

The installation brings Indigenous agricultural technology and understanding of nutrition and health together with landscape and environmental design.

The design team consists of Michael Mossman (Kuku Yalanji), senior lecturer and architect at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Richard Leplastrier, one of Australia’s leading architects and Jack Gillmer (Worimi, Biripi), an emerging First Nations graduate of architecture. The installation aims to create a bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge systems.

Read more: sydney.edu.au

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