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River Dyarubbin: A Tribute through Art

Sep 7, 2023

It is the lifeblood of a landscape that has captivated generations. The River Dyarubbin, also known as the Hawkesbury River, meanders for over 120 kilometers, intertwining with the history and culture of the region. The river has also acted as muse and subject for countless artists, writers, and explorers throughout history. 

Now, an exhibition pays homage to this iconic waterway. 11 Stories from the River Dyarrubbin is a collaborative exhibition containing stories, videos, music, objects, and artwork. The exhibition tells the stories of the river’s formation, Aboriginal culture, colonial settlers, and memories of historic floods, farming, boats, recreation, and ecology, from deep time to the very present.

The exhibition at Hawkesbury Regional Museum contains more than 80 contributions from the wider Hawkesbury area including Dharug educators, long term residents, historians, scientists, descendants from early settlers, and school and university students.

It forms part of the 11 Stories Project commenced in 2018 by composer and producer Oonagh Sherrard.

Badu Murubig water path by Leanne Mulgo Watson 2022

As part of the project, Sherrard developed a series of 11 audio walks located along the banks of Dyarubbin between Yarramundi and Sackville. The audio walks feature the river’s history and focus on environmental concerns and aspects of ecology, geography, and geomorphology. Itis an original score of music, featuring contemporary Dharug singers and voices, inspired by the stories of the river.

“I grew up playing in the bush around Upper Cowan Creek on Lower Hawkesbury and lived on the Upper Hawkesbury for the last 20 years,” Oonagh Sherrard said.

“The ancient river system flowing across Dharug and Darkinjung Country is a constant source of inspiration to me.”

11 Stories from the River Dyarrubbin opens on Saturday, 9 September at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum from 12:30pm.

The Hawkesbury Regional Museum is located at 8 Baker Street, Windsor and is open six days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10am to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. Closed Tuesdays


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