Strata: deserts past, present and future

Download the Book: Strata: deserts past, present and future (PDF, 1.1MB) By Mandy Martin, Libby Robin and Mike Smith

This book documents a collaborative environmental art project on Puritjarra, a rock shelter in the Cleland Hills in western central Australia. The project incorporates the perspectives of scholars of archaeology, ecology, environmental history, and the history of science as well as those of contemporary artists drawing upon the heritage of indigenous peoples and settlers.

It explores diverse ways of representing and understanding a place where desert oaks may well have been a continuous feature of the landscape for the last 100,000 years, while plant and animal species introduced more recently have caused significant change within the span of a single human lifetime. Recurring themes include water, food, shelter and spiritual renewal. The aim of the project: "co-understanding… valuing the different ways each of us sees a single place that is significant, but differently so, for each perspective." Martin, Mandy, Libby Robin, and Mike Smith, eds. Strata: Deserts Past, Present and Future. An Environmental Art Project about a Significant Cultural Place. Mandurama: Mandy Martin, 2005. All rights reserved. © 2005 Mandy Martin, Libby Robin and Mike Smith. Made available on the Environment & Society Portal courtesy of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University. You may use this content only for your personal, non-commercial use. No part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be made to the publisher: Mandy Martin, PO Box 35 Mandurama NSW 2792. Copyright in individual essays and artworks remains with the authors and artists.


Further information: Dr Libby Robin

About the Editors:

Libby Robin FAHA is an environmental historian and professor in the Fenner School of Environment and Society. For more information about this project contact

Mandy Martin is one of Australia's leading artists, and is Adjunct Professor at the Fenner School. Her art website is:

Mike Smith FAHA is an archaeologist, Emeritus Fellow of the National Museum of Australia and Adjunct Professor at the Fenner School. He is author of The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts (Cambridge UP 2013)

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