Terrain (2012)

Before Viewing

Terrain is inspired by the area of Australia known as Lake Eyre a landscape from where human beings draw life and express meaning to that life. Terrain explores the fundamental connection between Aboriginal people and land – how we treat our land, how we understand its spirit, and how we regard its future.


Cross curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
General capabilities: Creative and Critical Thinking, Intercultural Understanding, Literacy.
Learning areas: Focus on Arts (Dance, Music, Visual Arts)
Links to History, Geography and English.



History / Year 7 / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Investigating the ancient past

What do students already know and what are some things that they can do?

  • Encourage the students to experience the artforms of Dance, Music and Visual Arts by:
    • moving their body both individually and with others; showing awareness of their body in space and in relation to objects around them
    • improvising and arranging music, using texture, dynamics and expression to manipulate the elements of music
    • experimenting with visual conventions and materials, including exploration of techniques used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent a theme, concept or idea in their artwork
  • Check that students are aware that they can interpret meanings from viewing and listening to artworks and texts, and that all artforms can tell stories which may have a beginnings, middles and ends?
  • Encourage students’ recognition that people from different cultures create and perform, and may have different reasons for doing so. Discuss the importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, including the heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
  • Assist students to understand that as an audience member or viewer of art, it is important to concentrate on experiencing by viewing and listening.

Geography / Year 7 / Geographical Knowledge and Understanding / Unit 1: Water in the world
​Geography / Year 8 / Geographical Knowledge and Understanding / Unit 1: Landforms and landscapes

Pose questions that help them understand the ideas that the dance artwork Terrain is based on?

  • Who are the Arabunna people and what do we know about them?
  • Where in Australia is the Lake Eyre basin?
  • What is a salt lake and where are there other salt lakes in the world?
  • What is meant by internal drainage of a salt lake?
  • What is the landscape like in the Lake Eyre region?

Expand students understanding that contemporary Indigenous people participate in all facets of the community and as artiststhey may choose to communicate ideas based on traditional stories including those relating to landforms and creatures that represent spirits.

  • Who are the dancers of Bangarra? Where do they come from?
  • Where is the company Bangarra based?
  • What is a cultural advisor?

Based on Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Level 5 & 6 statements from the Critical and Creative Thinking learning continuum for Generating ideas, possibilities and actions; Reflecting on thinking and processes; and Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures areas. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY NC SA) licence. Accessed 03/06/15.