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 4: MOORPANYAL PARK. With 15 metre high sandstone cliffs and indigenous grasslands, Moorpanyal Park is a hidden treasure of inner Corio Bay with 1.5km of pristine coastal frontage. Sixty years ago it was an industrial site used as part of the Port of Geelong, however since 2004 there has been an extensive rehabilitation and revegetation initiative. More than 70 000 indigenous grasses, trees and shrubs have been planted along the cliff top. These plants are being protected and allowed to spread to restore the area to its former original condition, improving the health of the bay.
Esther Konings-Oakes, the district coordinator overseeing this songline station describes Moorpanyal Park as a place of contrast encapsulating the struggle between nature, industry and humanity. She feels a significant connection to the space, having been the coordinator and walking circle artist for Moorpanyal Park at Mountain to Mouth 2014. Esther is also a member of The North Shore Residents Group, the driving force of change dedicated to their vision of turning this industrial and neglected foreshore into a well-managed and cared for coastal reserve.
“Blowout” is a walking circle that re-imagines the lost industrial space using discarded fragments of everyday life. Walking circle artist Merinda Kelly invites participants to contribute their own obsolete objects and stories to create a totem of pop archeology to be mined by future generations. Students from Deakin University and workers from Ford Motor Company will be involved in constructing and activating the space, with sound and performance. The artwork also echoes the industrial history of its surroundings by using materials that were manufactured there and found objects in the natural environment of the area.
Merinda is a visual artist and lecturer at Deakin University. Her research interests include practices of collection, visual and material culture, and building creative communities. This songline station explores aspects of all of those interests in a way that explores the history and significance of Moorpanyal Park and its surrounding communities. “Blowout” considers the changing patterns of what is valued and discarded by humans throughout time and provokes us to wonder what our future world will look like. What do we value today that we will discard tomorrow? What will future generations think of the ways we live our lives? The walking circle explores this concept by allowing you to leave behind your own imprints in this reflective space and consider the debris created by the age of consumerism and the long term effects it could have.
The Songline Station at Moorpanyal Park is open from 5:30pm-8:00pm and is the fourth station in the journey after a 4.8km walk from Limeburners Lagoon. Check out the timetable for more information.
Mountain to Mouth is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register now.