Marrambidya: Riding the Scorpion's Tail
Gundagai to Oura
The Source - Part 2
Balranald to the Murray
River Length 1485 km
13th March 2022
"In 2020, I decided that I would try to travel the entire length of the Murrumbidgee River (Marrambidya Bila in the Wiradjuri language of Aboriginal people from Wagga Wagga) - where I am living. It is one of the longest rivers in Australia, running 1,485 km from it’s source near Peppercorn Hill in the Kosciuszko National Park to Boundary Bend where it meets the Murray River. As I am a practicing regional artist I decided that this would be an art project and that I would document the journey. This site will be part of that documentation.
The first exhibition will be in Canberra (on the Marrambidya) at the M16 Gallery from 6th of May to the 22nd of May 2022.
I have called it Riding the Scorpion's Tail because the way the river curls from deep in Kosciusko National Park, passing close to Canberra, and curling again to flow down to Gundagai, before flowing west to meet the Murray at Boundary Bend near Balranald."
“I would like to acknowledge that the river was of vital importance to Aboriginal people for many thousands of years before the Colonists arrived. It runs through the lands of the Ngarigo, Ngunnawal, Wiradjuri, Nari Nari and Muthi Muthi Aboriginal peoples.
I would like to pay my respect to the Elders of these Nations, past and present, and those growing into this custodianship role.”
Dr Greg Pritchard has had a lifelong interest in the environment and association with the Bila Marrambidya (Murrumbidgee River). He has been canoeing, bushwalking and rock-climbing since he was a teenager. His PhD is in ecocriticism, which is looking at literature through an environmental philosophy lens. Already a writer, in the 2000s, he went on to become an artist and a performer, and to produce large art festivals and projects. His personal work often deals with environmental issues.
In 2020, he started work on this project, Riding the Scorpion’s Tail, which is intended to be a complete traverse of the river, to look at its social and environmental history.