Celebrating the traditional and the contemporary at Steampacket Gardens

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 5: STEAMPACKET GARDENS. Journeying into the city centre from Moorpanyal Park, this station represents the central point in the Mountain to Mouth 2016 journey, where it collides with Geelong After Dark 2016 in the recently announced ceremony, Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities. The ceremony welcomes the ephemeral sculpture Canoe and its entourage of walkers and flag bearers to its overnight resting place at Steampacket Gardens, where dancers from all parts of the city gather people together to join in a dance that celebrates Mountain to Mouth's 2016 theme of “Air”.

The ceremony is brought to you by a stellar team headed by director Margie Mackay, A Melbourne based artist and researcher who engages in ritual art practices both nationally and internationally, utilising fire, projection, dance and puppetry to create exuberant and epic shows. She is joined by Gilbert Douglas, one of Southern Africa's most respected contemporary dance choreographers and teachers, as well as composer Danny Krivan and lighting designer Philip Lethlean. The resulting product is a multi-sensory experience that allows walkers to enjoy a dance that honours timeless tradition as well as contemporary technique. Everyone is welcome to join in and be a part of the celebrations.

Gathering of the City at Mountain to Mouth 2014  Photo by Brien Cohn

Gathering of the City at Mountain to Mouth 2014

Photo by Brien Cohn

The walking circle at Steampacket Gardens also focuses on the theme of air. Artists Jacinta Leitch and Dare Tekin explore this concept in their installation “We Don't Need Wings To Fly” through large, ambiguous forms. Kinetic sculptures with a leafy appearance are arranged in a circular pattern, creating a space for ritual and meditation that pays homage to the land and its ancestors while offering possibilities for renewal and growth. Walking amonst these sculptural forms creates a visually stimulating and reflective experience for participants as they consider the journey they are on as well as the destination that lies ahead.

The Songline Station at Steampacket Gardens is open from 7:00pm to 9:30pm, following a 6.7km walk from Moorpanyal Park. It marks the end of the first day of Mountain to Mouth 2016, which starts up again bright and early the following morning at 6am. Experience Geelong's picturesque Corio Bay in the stillness and tranquility of pre-dawn. For more information, check out the timetable.

Gathering of the City: Geelong Connected Communities kicks off at 8:10pm on Friday 6 May. Those who would like to get involved as a dancer can express their interest at mtom@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

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