Digesting 50 Thousand Years
Shells from the middens of Lake Mungo prove to be the oldest evidence on earth of people eating fresh water shellfish. The middens hold the shells of fresh water mussels, fish and the bone fragments of small mammals. So, before the rest of the world even imagined The Great Southern Land, the first inhabitants had developed a varied diet.
This work of 15 paintings spans those oldest of meals to native bush fruit, and with white settlement, a quart pot of billy tea boiling on a fire. There is a bush picnic dated at 1861. A Paradise Parrot, now extinct, flies over this picnic.
The home made jam, rustic china bowls, and food grown in our grandmother’s back yard come next. The concluding painting of a chaotic meal of fish and chips on the beach with hungry seagulls brings these 50 thousand years of digesting into the present.
- Sarah Mitchell