The Heritage Gallery, the Research Centre and the historic Reading Room are all part of the Gawler Cultural Heritage Centre.
Since the official opening on Sunday 7 April 2019, the Cultural Heritage Centre has fostered social connection, community celebrations, functions and displayed unique exhibitions and artefacts from the Gawler Heritage Collection.
With the assistance of exhibition designer, Richard Browning, the Cultural Heritage Centre is set to launch the new exhibition ‘Golden Land – Food Production in Gawler’ in late March 2021.
First commissioned by Town of Gawler in 2019 to create the 2020 Exhibition ‘Fire the Cannon’, Richard helps to articulate the historical stories and interpret them in engaging ways to the general public.
“I identify themes and try and find interesting ways that visitors can interact with that,” Richard said. “I use very simple kinetic activities that people find intriguing, like letting them open doors, boxes, peep through spy holes, press buttons, try quizzes, hunt for hidden objects, discover secrets as well as audio and video.
The previous exhibition ‘Fire the Cannon’ was a celebration of the Gawler Institute building. “The Gawler Institute was a bringing together of a progressive group of people who wanted to promote the growth and development of the town of Gawler through cultural and educational activities 150 years ago.
“The title ‘Fire the Cannon’ was based on a person of that time having a cannon that was reportedly from HMS Buffalo that was fired on the day the mail arrived in Gawler.”
Originally from London, Richard worked as a creative director in design and advertising agencies. Having moved to South Australia 16 years ago, Richard ‘fell into’ his passion as an exhibition designer for museums, stately homes and tourist attractions.
Now based in Adelaide, he set up his business ‘Synthetic Creative’. Richard told The Barossa Mag he loves his job.
“Exhibition design for museums is very diverse, you never know what you are going to have to interpret,” he said. “You suddenly have to immerse yourself into the topic, do research and come up with ideas on how to make that entertaining and educational for everyone.”
The up-coming exhibition ‘Golden Land – Food Production in Gawler’ will educate the community of the varied and complex history of food production in Gawler from the Kaurna community’s self-sufficient and sustainable life style to the industrial scale production of wheat, eggs, dairy and brewed beverages in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
It will be a fun and interactive exhibition with visitors able to experience kitchens from the 1880s, the 1920s, the 1950s and the 1980s complete with many objects that are no longer found in modern households.
It will be an opportunity for reminiscing about lifestyles past and also exploring how much time and effort went into providing meals for families.
Richard believes it is important to tell these stories and remind visitors that the Kaurna and other groups lived and managed the land.