Brambuk Living Cultural Centre
Location: Halls Gap, Victoria
Exhibition Design: Rosemary Simons
Clients: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Five Aboriginal
Design Brief: Provide a brief introduction to the Aboriginal
culture and history of the region, (Western Victoria), up to and including
Notes: The rocky humps of the Grampians or Gariwerd,
have been a constant over many thousands of years of human
history. In a low slung building beside it, snippets of history
from the past one hundred and fifty years formed the basis
of this exhibition.
To bring home
the fact that the story is an evolving one, what was then ‘cutting
edge’ technology, in the from of laser discs and fibre
optics, was employed to help illustrate it.
Taking a cue
from the architect’s use of a large tree trunk as a beam
support, the exhibition installation used multiple, smaller tree
trunks, as its supporting framework.
Aboriginal designs which utilise patterns of concentric circles,
the layout rippled out from the symbolic garden at it’s
Representing the ‘Killing Times’, was a pathway partially obstructed
by tree trunks on which were mounted contemporary quotes.
portraits of Aboriginal people from the region, arranged along
the spiralling pathway, charted, through their dress, the encroachment
of European culture.
Once past a
small hill of steps, topped by a construction of trunks and branches,
gates and fences cut across the pathway. In this section, information
on Aboriginal Reserves and Missions included a model of the Lake
Conder Mission church.
display area ....is suitably sombre....The tree trunk motif,
which provides a vertical counterpoint to the building’s
essential laterality, is here brutally expressive of the Aboriginal
experience since white settlement. A very simple device has been
chosen: the tree-columns are cut off above the fork, and do not
reach the ceiling. Some are pasted with notices, ‘Despicable
Race’, ‘Many Shot’ and the like.” (Jim
Davidson ‘Australian Society’ December 1991 Brambuk
Living Cultural Centre).
Architect: Greg Burgess
Project Manager: Denis Rose
Photographer: Steven Wilkinson