Blacktown International Sports Park – History and Research
My aim when designing my marker was to honour the traditional custodians of the Darug nation upon which the sports park is located. Through researching the history of Aboriginal culture and the sites history I began to further develop the concepts which shaped my models.
“In the Darug (Blacktown) area the Aborigines camped along the major waterways. They made spears from local trees and a stone called red silcrete which they got from the ridges above South Creek and Eastern Creek. Since the waterways gave the Aborigines so much of their food, it is not surprising that most of their campsites were within a few hundred metres of a creek or river. This also is why we find little evidence of Aborigines in the area — remains of their camps have been washed away by flooding over the years.”
Alongside this research into the site, I explored elements of the Dharuk language and traditional aboriginal painting styles which involved a high use of symbolism within their work to convey stories and document their history. In the Dharuk language, “Darug” means people. I compared this notion of literal meaning with the concept of a Sportspark, a place of gathering for many people creating a sense of community.
From this knowledge I began to explore aboriginal symbolism within their painting techniques and found two significant symbols:
The first was the use of a “U” shape to indicate a person, the second was the inwards spiral or concentric circles used to indicate a watering hole. Taking this “U” shape as a reference to the traditional aboriginal name of the site and the history of aboriginal communities residing by local water holes and streams, I combined them into my marker to incite a sense of gathering and community whilst referencing the indigenous history.