Karla Dickens & Bruce Pascoe: A Gateway for Aboriginal Agriculture?

Lismore based Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens will partner with Bruce Pascoe, known for his award-winner research on the agricultural practices of pre-settlement Aboriginal people. Working with school children, they will investigate the edible native grasses that grow on and around The Living Classroom, and explore the possibility of cultivating Murnong, the Yam Daisy, at the site. The project expands Bruce’s current work undertaken in Gippsland, Vic and Berry, NSW of trialling the cultivation of native foods. Prior to colonisation, Murnong were harvested across the wetter regions of Eastern Australia. As a staple starch food for Aboriginal communities across this region, it is a plant with significant agricultural and cultural heritage.

Karla Dickens brings her rich experience as a multidisciplinary artist disclosing aspects of the nation’s history and working on grassroots community initiatives to this project. In addition to a sculptural installation that will be exhibited at Cementa19, this collaboration will contribute to The Living Classroom’s efforts to integrate Aboriginal agriculture and native foods into its educational program.