Darling Murray (2009)

To Large Works  To Details
Arrow left

Arrow down

John Webb: Darling Murray (2009)

Darling Murray (2009)
1.85 x 1.56m

Image details:

John Webb: Darling Murray (2010) Detail 1

John Webb: Darling Murray (2009)Detail 2

John Webb: Darling Murray (2009) Detail 3
Darling Murray (2010)
(Detail 1) 
 Darling Murray (2010)
(Detail 2) 
Darling Murray (2010)
(Detail 3)  


The work:

This work reflects an imaginary journey through this river system on the old steamers that plied these routes, and explores the part the steamers played in opening up the interior of Australia.

Australian context:

"The Murray-Darling Basin is Australia’s most important agricultural region, accounting for over 39 per cent of Australia’s gross value in agricultural production. The range in climatic conditions across the Basin means there is a whole range of agricultural commodities produced.

The Basin has been termed Australia’s agricultural heartland, its ‘food basket’, but it is much more than that, as its agricultural output makes a major contribution to the National economy. Agriculture provides the raw materials for most of the Basin’s manufacturing activity, as well as many processing companies beyond the region."

Read more at www.murrayriver.com.au    

As noted in the Australian Human Rights Commissions Native Title Report (2008):

"The landscape of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) is under severe ecological stress. Issues such as salinity, poor water quality, stressed forests, dried wetlands, threatened native species, feral animals and noxious weeds are commonplace within the MDB. The reasons for this dramatic decline in river health are caused by water mismanagement including reversal of natural flow cycles and over allocation of water licences. Generations of bad farm practices such as deforestation have also played a major role in the ecological disaster that is the MDB."[1]

The Murray-Darling did not spring into existence when Europeans arrived on this soil. It has a history going back to the Dreamtime, and has been peopled (and cared for by those peoples) for millennia.

"The Murray- Darling River Basin is home to up to 40 autonomous Indigenous Nations[13] across the five states and territories. These Traditional Owner groups include the Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna, Peramangk, Wamba Wamba, Wadi Wadi, Wiradjuri, Yorta Yorta, Muthi Muthi, Mungatanga, Barkindji, Taungurung, Latji Latji, Wergaia, Wotjabulak, Barapa Barapa, Gamiloroi, Bugditji, and Nyiamppa Nations.

While these Indigenous Nations are independently identified based on their inherent cultural diversity and their traditions, sites, stories and cultural practices; they all share a vision for the Murray-Darling River Basin – and that is a healthy, living river with natural flows and cycles, sustaining communities and preserving its unique values."

Read more in the AHRC Native Title Report (2008):
 Case Study No 2: The Murray-Darling Basin – an ecological and human tragedy

Murray River book

Murray River winding through pastures, Monteith, South Australia.

Photo available at www.murrayriverphotos.com.au
(used with kind permission)
Great book to read about the area
Shane Strudwick: 
The Murray River: One river, many lands (2012)

See also 
Chris Harmer: The River: A Journey through the Murray-Darling Basin (MUP, 2009)

Murray Darling Basin Map

Map courtesy of www.murrayriver.com.au

The Murray river mouth prior to dredging activities
in September 2002. 

Photo originally sourced from the Murray Darling Basin Commission (MDBC) NFS Annual Implementation Report 2005-06 (now a dead link).