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Revitalising Connection: DeakinSeaweed and Wathaurong Co-operative 

27 May - 14 June 2024

Revitalising Connection: DeakinSeaweed and Wathaurong Co-operative 

Exhibition details

About exhibition

This exhibition offers a glimpse into the cultural reconnection to seaweed through artworks produced by young Indigenous people living on Wadawurrung Country. It is part of a collaboration between DeakinSeaweed and Wathaurong Co-Operative.

Research group DeakinSeaweed, led by PhD candidate Zoe Brittain, co-developed several hands-on workshops alongside Aunty Judy Dalton-Walsh, blending scientific and cultural knowledge, on-Country experiences, art, and storytelling to revitalise the cultural connections to seaweed within Wadawurrung and the broader Indigenous community in Geelong. With a focus on reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, Wadawurrung community members shared their traditional knowledge of seaweed, as well as thoughts and feelings on current management and environmental challenges facing seaweed on their Country.

Over two days of workshops, Indigenous participants aged five to 17 were joined by 15 non-Indigenous Deakin participants (ranging from undergraduates, post-graduates, staff and alumni), Wadawurrung Elders, art professionals from OneDay studios and three young Indigenous community members who were hired as research assistants on the project. The two days were spent exploring personal, cultural and scientific understandings of seaweed, how we collectively relate to the world around us, and how we relate to each other – all expressed through a range of media including paint, screen printing, photography, drawing, sculpture and jewellery.

This impactful display serves as a testament to the profound significance of art and creativity in supporting cultural identity, as well as the importance of sharing knowledge to develop a sense of ownership and belonging.

Revitalising Connection: Interview with Zoe Brittain

We were fortunate to discuss Revitalising Connection with PhD candidate Zoe Brittain, who leads the seaweed revitalisation project as part of the research group DeakinSeaweed.

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