Syzygy: gazing at shadows, darkly
Paper by Harry Nankin presented at ‘Transdiscipinary imaging’ conference, Sydney, 2010, peer-reviewed and published 2011
At first sight Lake Tyrrell in the semi-arid Victorian Mallee is unprepossessing. Yet, this stark, seasonally-filled saltpan surrounded by eroding sand hills and grassy plains is associated with a pre-colonial story evoking a vision apparent only when the land itself is unseen–at night.
Nineteenth century squatter and amateur ethnographer William Edward Stanbridge reported that the local “Boorong tribe” who knew “more of astronomy than any others” (Stanbridge,1861: 301) were specialists in studying the night sky…