Uncle Max Dulamunmun Harrison guides us along the songline of Guruwal (Whale) and invites us to draw as a way to relate to that experience.

Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison guides us through rock engravings in Ku-ring-gai National Park, with Dean Kelly and young Jack. He explains how Guruwal (Whale) and other creatures are aligned in the rock like signposts to show where they can be found, and how they align with constellations of stars that appear at times of the year when the creatures are around. Uncle Max invites us to draw the whale, and other creatures we can see inside it and around it. Some years ago I had drawn some of these rock engravings, but today I see them with new eyes; I see the engravings in relationship to forms made by nature on the ground, as well as to the stars above. This makes for a much bigger picture than I ever knew could be imagined, let alone drawn.

Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison
Photo: Daniel Nielsen
Photo: Daniel Nielsen
I draw as Uncle Max points out lines that we recognise as krill, and lichen that could be phytoplankton.
Photo: Daniel Nielsen

Uncle Max points out that lines we recognise as krill, and lichen that could be phytoplankton are forms shaped by the elements – water, wind, and maybe fire. Some lines may have been carved over thousands of years by running water. Lichen may have grown in less time. Together they form an evolving big picture story with different phases overlapping.

Photo: Daniel Nielsen
Photo: Daniel Nielsen
Photo: Daniel Nielsen
Photo: Daniel Nielsen

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Posted on Monday, September 23rd, 2019