Reconstruction and reflection at Lara RSL

As Mountain to Mouth 2016 approaches, we thought it was time to take a closer look at the Artists and District Coordinators who are guiding different aspects of the journey.

THE BACKGROUND: Six District Coordinators organise the twelve Songline Stations across the 80km walk in the Geelong and Queenscliffe regions. Each Station features a walking circle punctuated by an installation, which range from a mixture of audio, interactive, visual and performance arts that interact with and reflect the diverse environments they are set in. Each of the walking circles express the unique nature of its locality and community, playing a significant role in transforming the walk into a journey that encourages its participants to discover extreme arts and the surrounding environment.

SONGLINE STATION 2: LARA RSL. The walking circle at Lara RSL is coordinated by Sue Hartigan, Manager of Cloverdale Community Centre, a non-profit organisation that delivers education, social and cultural programs to a diverse range of community members with varying English proficiency and learning abilities. Sue is passionate about maintaining a community that is inclusive and resilient, with a focus on cultural integration and opportunities for social participation, regardless of age, background or abilities.

Lara RSL Photo by Sandra Brown

Lara RSL

Photo by Sandra Brown

The Lara RSL building was built in 1865 and is one of the oldest buildings still in use in the area. It has been the headquarters of Lara RSL since 1950.

Preliminary drawing of the concept

Preliminary drawing of the concept

“To The Four Winds”, the walking circle at this historic site is an installation of handmade pinwheels. Guiding the concept and construction of the installation is bricolage, an art style in which a work is created or constructed using a diverse range of things that happen to be available, such as found or discarded objects and materials. Bricolage extends in a philosophical context to the idea that all concepts are borrowed to a certain extent from our heritage, that every human act is in part a reflection of what preceded it.

The pinwheels in the installation are assembled from recycled materials and animated by the movement of air. Constructed from discarded classical album covers on a foundation of hardback books, the pinwheels are overprinted with text relating to the meaning of the word “Lara”. The installation combines the Mountain to Mouth 2016's theme of air with the concept of bricolage, both in the sense of literally using recycled materials as well as philosophically. The philosophical element echoes and plays homage to the historical significance of the site and the layers of memory that exist on the land, from the Wadawurrung balug, to the primitive Methodists, to the RSL and its historical collection.

“To The Four Winds” is constructed by David Dellafiora and Teresa Lawrence, both of whom currently work at Karingal Participate facilitating art activities. David is a cultural worker, teacher and conceptual artist who focuses on alternative art practices such as temporary public art, community collaborations and other practices outside the traditional gallery system. Teresa is a children's book illustrator who comes from a background of textile design and has participated in a range of shows in both print and painting. The songline station at Lara RSL will be open for two hours from 3pm and is the first stop after an (optional) 11.52km walk from the You Yangs. Check out the timetable for more details.

Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.