David Doyle

Barkindji/Malyangapa people, New South Wales

Within this body of work I share with you our deep knowledge of the abundance of our Country and many aspects of our ancient foodways.

kamuru or river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), was chosen as Australia’s favourite tree in 2022, but has been a favourite of the Barkindji for many more years. Standing stoic, kamuru watches over our mother Baaka, protecting and supporting her as she meanders through Barkindji Country. But to us Barkindji, kamuru is more than a protector, more than a prone sentinel and more than a tree. I have tried to capture the importance of kamuru within this display of red gum artefacts while showing its beauty and significance to us Barkindji.

For millennia kamuru has watched over generations of Barkindji and seen the ways of the old people, witnessed the white man come, witnessed the devastation of our mother Baaka. They have sheltered many of our people under their branches. They offer warmth when used to fuel our fire. They have kept us cool on the days when it is too hot to be out in the sun. They give us medicine when we are unwell and food when we are hungry.

Providing a means to carry food and water, bowls to prepare medicine, canoes to keep us dry and help us to collect food and an umbrella on drizzly days. They have helped birth thousands of Barkindji in their hollowed-out trunks or under their branches. Standing proud over the bodies of our old people who have passed on to the dreamtime.

For Barkindji, kamuru means shelter, it means medicine and food, it means hot and cold, wet and dry, birth and death.

kamuru is more than a tree, kamuru is Barkindji.

Easy read

I have used my skills as a carver, as well as casting many objects in bronze. I have made these works to help you to understand the beauty and importance of kamuru (river red gum) to us as Barkindji people.