Conversations with the bunyip: the idea of the wild in imagining, planning, and celebrating place through metaphor, memoir, mythology, and memory

Tamsin Kerr, University, My, Jenny Cameron
What lies beneath Our cultured constructions? The wild lies beneath. The mud and the mad, the bunyip Other, lies beneath. It echoes through our layered metaphors We hear its memories Through animal mythology in wilder places Through emotive imagination of landscape memoir Through mythic archaeologies of object art. Not the Nation, but the land has active influence. In festivals of bioregion, communities re-member its voice. Our creativity goes to what lies beneath. This thesis explores the ways
more » ... we develop deeper and wilder connections to specific regional and local landscapes using art, festival, mythology and memoir. It argues that we inhabit and understand the specific nature of our locale when we plan space for the non-human and creatively celebrate culture-nature coalitions. A wilder and more active sense of place relies upon community cultural conversations with the mythic, represented in the Australian exemplar of the bunyip. The bunyip acts as a metaphor for the subaltern or hidden culture of a place. The bunyip is land incarnate. No matter how pristine the wilderness or how concrete the urban, every region has its localised bunyip-equivalent that defines, and is shaped by, its community and their environmental relationships. Human/non-human cohabitations might be actively expressed through art and cultural experience to form a wilder, more emotive landscape memoir. This thesis discusses a diverse range of landstories, mythologies, environmental art, and bioregional festivities from around Australasia with a special focus on the Sunshine Coast or Gubbi-Gubbi region. It suggests a subaltern indigenous influence in how we imagine, plan and celebrate place. The cultural discourses of metaphor, memoir, mythology and memory shape land into landscapes. When the metaphor is wild, the memoir celebratory, the mythology animal, the memory creative and complex, our ways of being are ecocentric and grounded. The distinctions between nature and culture become less defined; we become native to country. Our multi-culture [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/2433 fatcat:awdq52avqvd3zevpho4uqncute