Author Identifier

Sharon Callow

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Arts and Humanities

First Supervisor

Gregory Pryor


In suburban spaces, front yards are meaningful sites to examine settler understandings of, and responsibilities toward place. This exegesis and accompanying visual inquiry forms a creative critique of settler practices that have impacted Noongar people, their culture and Country. Using decolonising and alter-political perspectives alongside a practice-led methodology, the current state of domestic land practices, as evidenced by front yards in Boorloo/Perth, have been interrogated through site- specific research.

Settler-Australians, the non-Indigenous descendants of colonial arrivals and subsequent migrants, have benefitted from colonisation and the commodification of Indigenous land. Urban sprawl and the development of suburban housing estates has involved the destruction of Indigenous flora and damage to Country. The cultivation of exotic species, and adherence to imported garden aesthetics in urban and suburban landscapes, are common ways in which Noongar boodja * is aggressively devalued.

Front yards exhibit clues about the occupiers’ cultural identities, and collectively reflect the societal values of a contemporary culture. The power of these suburban sites to inform, and transform culture, is examined using the interconnected themes of phenomenology and place. Insights gained through creative practice will navigate and convey the sensitive topics of cultural loss, and ideas of home through a contemporary rendering of the landscape genre. Generated artworks seek to reframe the current gardening practices of settler-Australians, and address settler-Australian responsibilities toward Country.




Thesis Location