Artists

Mountain to Mouth – more than the sum of all parts

Canoe has travelled the 80km extreme arts walk from Big Rock in the You Yangs to the foreshore of Barwon Heads.

Planting along the songline occurred at Limeburners Lagoon led by District Coordinator Matt Crawley.

A huge number of you (48 in fact!) walked the entire 80kms; many with blisters (some open, some more extreme), tight muscles but a huge sense of achievement when Barwon Heads rotunda on the Barwon Heads foreshore came into view.

Mountain to Mouth 2016 artists get ready for the weekend

Our artists have been working very hard preparing for our Extreme Arts walk. We have over 70 artists working on this event, not including our extensive team of performers in ceremonies and countless volunteers from the community engaged in workshops and other aspects of the event. Here is a little look at some of the works in progress.

Here is a preview of Jennifer McElwee's magnificent sculpture, part of her Walking Circle at the sixth Songline Station. See the whole thing at 6am on Saturday 7 May at the Barwon River Rowing Precinct. 

 

 

 

Pop archaeology is taking over at Merinda Kelly's workshop in preparation for her Walking Circle at Moorpanyal Park.

Interactive and bound to be a highlight of the event, come on down to the fourth Songline Station, open from 5:30pm on Friday 6 May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacinta Leitch and Dare Tekin creating kinetic sculptures in the workshop for their Walking Circle at Steampacket Gardens.

This Songline Station is the central point of the journey and is where Mountain to Mouth collides with Geelong After Dark in the city. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some kids getting involved in a workshop designing birds and nests made from recycled materials for Mirjana Margetic's Walking Circle at Christies Rd.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain to Mouth artistic director Meme McDonald and Canoe artists Leonard Tebegetu and Mahony Maia Kiely scouting the land in preparation for the event.

 

 

That's right! A sneak preview of Canoe itself, which is currently spending the week at the National Wool Museum. See it in action this weekend, starting from the Gathering of the Elders ceremony at You Yangs Big Rock at 12:30pm.

 

Mountain to Mouth (6-7 May) is Geelong's multi-award winning journey of discovery, an 80km walk over two days and 11 stages. Register Now 

 

Celebration and completion on the Barwon Heads foreshore

Over the past couple of months we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey of discovery. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just one week away, it's the last chance to check out all the different stages of the walk and register for the ones that most appeal to you.

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 12: BARWON HEADS FORESHORE. We end our journey of discovery upon the coast of Barwon Heads, where highly esteemed installation artist Michelle Fifer Spooner reflects upon the strength and fragility of coastal environments. "Feather" forms a welcome home totem echoing journey and freedom and marking the end of the Extreme Arts Walk. Beneath the totem is a walking circle in sand designed by Julie Shaw and installed with the assistance of Barwon Heads residents. A trail of feathers have been leading Canoe and its procession of walkers along the 80 kilometre contemporary songline, and they represent the Wadawurrung story of how the Creator navigated across land by following the feathers dropped by the Swan sisters. 

Barwon Heads Foreshore  Photo by Lynden Smith

Barwon Heads Foreshore

Photo by Lynden Smith

The themes of this story are explored further in the Gathering of the Elements, the ceremony of completion where water from the ancient hewn rock well at Big Rock in the You Yangs, that has been carried in Canoe over 80 kilometres, is returned to the sea in an expression of gratitude. Here river meets sea, freshwater and salt become one and mark a point in which we all stand in the past, present and future for one moment as we acknowledge the elements that came together to support our journey both as individuals and a community.

Fiona Duncan, district coordinator for Songline Station 12, expects the ceremony to be poetic and magnificent. She said that a lot of work has gone into the planning process of the completion ceremony, which is described as a dramatic, pyrotechnic display of performance art using the river, the beach, the pier and the ocean as a stage. Community groups were engaged to help create fish puppets for the ceremony, including students from Barwon Heads primary school and final year student teachers from the IKE (Koori Education) program at Deakin, who flew in from places as far as Darwin and Perth. 

Punters watching the burning of Canoe at Mountain to Mouth 2014 Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

Punters watching the burning of Canoe at Mountain to Mouth 2014
Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

During the ceremony Canoe, having completed its journey, will be set alight, reflecting the ephemeral nature of the journey and the walking circles throughout it. The installations and the journey itself will continue existing in the minds of the walkers who participated, allowing it to retain beauty in a way that can only be achieved by a temporary existence. 

The Songline Station at Barwon Heads Foreshore is open from 4:00pm-7:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after an easy-going 3km walk from Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club. 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

Convergence of elements at the iconic Ocean Grove

Over the past couple of months we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey of discovery. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just one week away, it's the last chance to check out all the different stages of the walk and register for the ones that most appeal to you.

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 11: OCEAN GROVE SURF LIFE SAVING CLUB. Located at one of the most iconic beaches of the region, a simple yet imposing bamboo structure sits as a beacon of hope, connecting the elements of air, water and earth to a place of dreaming. Fiona Duncan, the district coordinator for Songline Stations 11 and 12 describes the installation by Suyin Honeywell in the coveted Ocean Grove setting as clever and inspiring.

Fiona is no stranger to the coveted and inspiring, having spent the past 25 years as an Artist Manager and Consultant in the Australian Music Industry, which has seen her work alongside the likes of Nirvana, Nick Cave, Metallica and the Beastie Boys as well as on major events such as the Big Day Out. She echoes the familiar tale of moving to the coast from a bigger, busier place to fall in love with the Greater Geelong region. Witnessing Mountain to Mouth 2014 gave her an epiphany of how special, connected and wildly creative this community could be and how much she wanted to be a part of it, something she has proudly achieved. 

Ocean Grove Beach  Photo by Craig Robinson

Ocean Grove Beach

Photo by Craig Robinson

"Air, Water, Earth and Dreaming" is a beautiful, natural structure that takes the shape of a tee-pee that reaches towards the sky. The silk flags mounted to the top of the structure will breathe life into it, showing the direction and movement of air. Interwoven pieces of driftwood, shells and rocks hang in the centre of the installation, reflecting the land that the piece lies on. Dream catchers made from a range of mixed-media material are suspended on each of the four walls. Children from the four local schools in Ocean Grove were invited to contribute to the making of these dream catchers, to strengthen to connection between the land and the community as well as harnessing the enthusiasm and energy of the youth.

Suyin is deeply interested in reflecting the physical and emotional relationships people develop with the natural environment and has an extensive background of presenting engaging and inclusive community arts projects. She has worked on a number of occasions with schools to facilitate students in the making and creating of large projects in coastal and rural townships throughout Victoria. 

The Songline Station at Ocean Grove Surf Life Saving Club is open from 4:00pm-6:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 8.5km walk from Point Lonsdale Village. Please note that this is a particularly hard leg of the walk as it is all on soft sand. 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. 

Reflecting natural cycles at Point Lonsdale

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 under 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

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 10: POINT LONSDALE VILLAGE. In a quiet village within the Borough of Queenscliffe, a walking circle of a different kind will sit juxtaposed against the expansive views of Port Phillips Head. "Wind Worx II.1000" is an installation that is inspired by the H20 cycle, referencing the continual interaction of wind, sun, clouds and the ocean. Although this cycle is well-understood and known by most, it is worth reflecting on the significance of this energy exchange. The continuous movement of water on, above and below the surface of the Earth influences the climate and shapes the geological features of the land. It is a never-ending dance of energy flows with incredible varieties in physical processes that sustain all life and ecosystems on the planet.

The sculptured rocks and rock pools at the beach in Point Lonsdale.  Photo by Dennis C via Tripadvisor

The sculptured rocks and rock pools at the beach in Point Lonsdale.

Photo by Dennis C via Tripadvisor

The artist for this walking circle, Brian Thompson comes from a background of technical engineering, a skill that has taken him to mine sites and industrial plants around the country and the world. His artistic style has its root in industrial design, which seems to give him a more methodological and scientific approach in comparison to some of the other walking circle artists found across the event. On the other hand, he also has a background as a magician and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Driving this interest is his fascination with the art of illusion.

Preliminary design for Point Lonsdale installation.

Preliminary design for Point Lonsdale installation.

In his art installation he consolidates this attraction to magical illusions with his scientific background by focusing on kinetic sculpture, which has its own dynamic visuals that are almost an optical illusion. Here it is seen how much the lines can be blurred between science and magic, and often the two can be almost mistakable or from certain perspectives, the same thing. The H20 cycle is an undoubtedly scientific process, but it cannot be denied that both the process and result of it are magical. 

The Songline Station at Point Lonsdale Village is open from 1:30pm-3:45pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 2.8km walk from Swan Bay. 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

 

Discover the Banjo Ray at Swan Bay

Over the past few weeks we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just under 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

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 9: SWAN BAY - MARINE AND FRESHWATER DISCOVERY CENTRE. Leanne Stein is the District Coordinator for Songline Stations 9 and 10. She is an Arts Officer with Borough of Queenscliffe, putting her in an ideal position to oversee Songline Stations located in the Borough. She has experience in supporting an environment in which arts activities can flourish as well as having the necessary community ties for these activities to have a meaningful impact and reach.

Swan Bay is a wetlands site of international significance, providing a magical ecosystem for a myriad of animal and plant species. It is renowned for its diversity of migratory birds, with as many as 200 species seen in the area, some of which are endangered. Each year, as many as 10, 000 migratory wading birds descend on the waterway, some of which migrate from as far away as Alaska and Siberia - a round trip of over 24,000 km (Makes the 80km walk sound like nothing!). 

Discovering wildlife at Swan Bay

Discovering wildlife at Swan Bay

It is for these reasons that Swan Bay is protected under the Ramsar agreement. The treaty was negotiated through the sixties and came into force in 1975 as a response to global concerns about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitats for migratory waterbirds. Wetlands are vital for human survival, being among the world's most productive environments as a cradle of biological diversity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. Wetlands also play a key role in the carbon cycle, holding twice as much carbon as the world's rainforests and stemming the negative effects of climate change.

Banjo Ray installation, first concept

Banjo Ray installation, first concept

"Banjo Ray", the walking circle at this site, depicts another iconic resident of Swan Bay through a large, temporary basalt installation. Banjo Rays are one of the largest species of stingrays in Australia and live amongst the seagrass beds in this beautiful and unique habitat. This depiction tells one of the many stories that make Swan Bay a place of such importance. Artist Glenn Romanis is a renowned arts practitioner with a history of over 150 large scale public and community arts projects. He seeks to tell stories that inform about the natural and cultural histories attributed to a place in order to foster respect and understanding for the land. 

Wooden Echidna sculptures at Jan Juc Park by Glenn Romanis

Wooden Echidna sculptures at Jan Juc Park by Glenn Romanis

Walkers travelling from the previous Songline Station at Drysdale Station are given the exciting option to take an iconic train hauled by a historic locomotive between Drysdale and Queenscliff as part of a partnership between Bellarine Railway and Mountain to Mouth. The train line was built in 1879 and offers outstanding views of Swan Bay, the entrance of Port Phillip Bay, olive groves and vineyards, winding through thickets of ancient moonah as it descends towards Queenscliffe. After travelling through the remnant bush land of the Bellarine Peninsula, participants arrive at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre half an hour before the "Banjo Ray" walking circle opens. The Centre features aquariums and touch tanks where visitors can get closer to animals like starfish and crabs, as well as boardwalks with more stunning views of the area that walkers can enjoy before the Songline Station opens at 12:30pm. 

The Touch Tank at The Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre

The Touch Tank at The Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre

The Bellarine Railway is a integral part of Queenscliff's local history, and offers a significant contribution to the combination of arts, culture and community that Mountain to Mouth  2016 represents. Tickets for the train journey are $20 (adults), $15 (seniors, children), and $40 (family, 2 adults, up to 3 children) and can be purchased directly from the Bellarine Railway.

The train departs Drysdale Station at 11:20am and arrives at Swan Bay Station at 12:00pm. The Songline Station at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre is open from 12:30pm-3:00pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 13.9km walk (or train ride) from Drysdale Station. 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.

 

Hearth stories and historic train rides at Drysdale station

Over the past few weeks, we have been taking a closer look at the Artists, District Coordinators and locations involved in the Mountain to Mouth journey. With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just 2 weeks away, there is no better time to register and begin engaging with the different aspects of the event.

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 8: DRYSDALE STATION. Located in the centre of the picturesque, rolling farmlands of the Bellarine, the Songline Station at Drysdale Station gives walkers the chance to connect with the unique character of an area quite different to others found in this journey of discovery. Artist Ingrid Petterson hopes to tell stories that evoke the industrial and agricultural history of the region through a multi-sensual experience of sight, sound and scent. Described as a steamy sound sculpture, "Hearth Stories" is a walking circle that gives voice to Drysdale's character through tales that would be told around the community fire or the hearth at home. They speak of both personal and collective experiences that examine the relationship between humankind and nature, survival and evolution, individuality and collectivism. Ingrid describes her art as medicine, which is intuitive, elemental and experiential. Through her walking circle, she invites participants to hear the sounds of people and place. 

Ingrid's "art medicine" - pictured here with  Costa Georgiadis.  

Ingrid's "art medicine" - pictured here with Costa Georgiadis. 

"Edmonson Tickets" from the 19th century, still used by heritage railways.

"Edmonson Tickets" from the 19th century, still used by heritage railways.

 

As the journey continues towards Swan Bay, walkers are given the exciting option to take an iconic train hauled by a historic locomotive between Drysdale and Queenscliffe as part of a partnership between the Bellarine Railway and Mountain to Mouth. The train line was built in 1879 and offers outstanding views of Swan Bay, the entrance of Port Phillip Bay, olive groves and vineyards, winding through thickets of ancient moonah as it descends towards Queenscliff.

Bellarine Railway "Pozieres" at Banks Road. 

Bellarine Railway "Pozieres" at Banks Road. 

After travelling through the remnant bush land of the Bellarine Peninsula, participants arrive at the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, the site of the next Songline Station, where they have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the marine and birdlife Swan Bay supports as a Ramsar site. The Centre features aquariums and touch tanks where visitors can get closer to animals like starfish and crabs. Visitors can also wander the boardwalks to experience more stunning views of the area before the ninth Songline Station opens at 12:30pm. 

The Bellarine Railway is a integral part of Queenscliff's local history, and offers a significant contribution to the combination of arts, culture and community that Mountain to Mouth 2016 represents. Tickets for the train journey are $20 (adults), $15 (seniors, children), and $40 (family, 2 adults, up to 3 children) and can be purchased directly from the Bellarine Railway.

The train departs Drysdale Station at 11:20am and arrives at Swan Bay Station at 12:00pm.  The Songline Station at Drysdale Station is open from 11:00am-1:45pm on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), following a 7.6km walk from Christies Rd. 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.

 

Reinvigorating natural beauty at Christies Road

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.

One of the plantings at Christies Road  Photo by Matt Crawley 

One of the plantings at Christies Road

Photo by Matt Crawley 

SONGLINE STATION 7: CHRISTIES ROAD. Rachella Thomas is the District Coordinator for the seventh and eighth Songline Stations. With over 15 years experience in events that span from food and wine festivals, event management in the city of Wyndam, to the Royal Melbourne Show, she brings a wealth of valuable experience to Mountain to Mouth 2016. Getting to know the community she lives in and contributing to it is important to Rachella, leading her to spend a large part of the 2 years since she moved to Geelong building networks through volunteering. A month after she moved to Geelong, Mountain to Mouth 2014 was on. Knowing little about the event, she decided to go and was blown away by the great display of creativity and community. Rachella jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this event, which she felt encompassed her personal journey of getting to know all the aspects of the Geelong region, the landscape and it's people. 

Volunteers from the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail in action. 

Volunteers from the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail in action. 

Christies Road is a significant environmental site for the Mountain to Mouth project. Indigenous plants have been recently reintroduced at the site as part of the event's ecological initiative, the "Green Corridor" strategy, which is the execution of a long term vision to revegetate the local habitat with plantings of Indigenous species of grasses, trees and shrubs. Half of the tickets sold go towards funding this project, which connects local communities and revegetation organisations together to care for the eleven songline corridors across the 80km walk so that the region can retain its natural beauty. Walking maps and signage at a number of these sites will eventually be installed to encourage all year walking of this contemporary songline. The planting at Christies Road was conducted by the Friends of the Bellarine Rail Trail,  a volunteer group committed to the indigenous revegetation of the Bellarine Rail Trail. They have planted approximately 83, 000 indigenous flora since their inception in 2002. 

Workshop session making birds and nests.   Photo by Rachella Thomas

Workshop session making birds and nests. 

Photo by Rachella Thomas

The walking circle at Christies Road invites and provokes people's understanding of the environmental issues facing the region. "Grey Tree" is an artwork that represents a living narrative, employing the use of poetic visual metaphors and symbolic meanings to deal with growing questions about our impact on the land. Artist Mirjana Margetic, who is passionate about exploring the concept of human impact on the environment, wants to bring particular attention on air pollution and acid rain.

Birds and nests made in workshops from found and recycled objects with local residents are hidden in the shrubs for walkers to discover as they follow the path of the walking circle. 

The Songline Station at Christies Road is open from 8:00am-10:15am on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 10km walk from the Barwon River Rowing Precinct. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering lost views in a changing environment at Barwon River

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 6: BARWON RIVER ROWING PRECINCT. Kicking off the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 is the sixth songline station at Barwon River Rowing Precinct, where artist Jennifer McElwee will present "Lost River View", a walking circle that signifies the changes to the environment that have resulted from the obtrusion of suburban expansion. She uses Eugene von Guerard's View of Geelong, 1856, as a reference point for the ways in which the area has adversely changed, the most significant consequence being that the view depicted in von Guerard's painting can no longer be seen.

View of Geelong,  1856, by Eugene von Guerard

View of Geelong, 1856, by Eugene von Guerard

For over a century the general public was unaware of von Guerard's painting. McElwee questions whether the self esteem of the community and sense of value for the environment would have been stronger if it was known how highly the region and painting was regarded. The walking circle will be formed by water filled cooking vessels symbolising settlement along the river. In the centre lies a sculpture based on the original shape of the river from the perspective of the now lost view. The extremity of the art lies within the challenge of its demand; that we must consider the needs of the community concurrently with the needs of the environment by regarding significant natural sites.

The Songline Station at Barwon River Rowing Precinct is open from 6:00am-7:45am on the second day of Mountain to Mouth 2016 (7 May), after a 2.9km walk from Steampacket Gardens. 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.

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.

Mountain to Mouth 2016 Announces Recipients of Major International Sculpture Commission

Mountain to Mouth - Geelong's 80km Extreme Arts Walk, has announced the recipients of its major sculpture commission in a special ceremony at Eastern Beach, Geelong.

Papua New Guinean artist, Leonard Tebegetu and Australian artist, Mahony Maia Kiely have been jointly awarded the commission. Together they will create Mountain to Mouth 2016's lead ephemeral artwork, Canoe - a vessel which will carry water from the ancient Rockwell at Big Rock, You Yangs, along the 80km journey to rejoin the ocean at Barwon Heads.

The commission, made possible by the Australia Council for the Arts, represents a significant cultural exchange that will enable a stronger dialogue and deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures in both Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Canoe artists Mahony Maia Kiely and Leonard Tebegetu with Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons and Wadawurrung Elder Uncle Bryon Powell at the Eastern Beach ceremony.

Canoe artists Mahony Maia Kiely and Leonard Tebegetu with Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons and Wadawurrung Elder Uncle Bryon Powell at the Eastern Beach ceremony.

Leonard Tebegetu is a sculptor and bamboo artist, who brings his culture and upbringing in Papua New Guinea, his experience of life on a small island, and his work as a globally operating contemporary artist to the role of Canoe Maker for Mountain to Mouth 2016. He lives in a land where the lines are blurred between traditional and contemporary culture, and the former can maintain its accessibility and resist being eroded by colonial forces over the past century through cultural and creative exchange. In 2015, he was head designer for the 35-person workshop that constructed props for the Pacific Games opening ceremony.

Wadawurrung Elder Uncle Bryon Powell smoking 2014 Canoe artist Benjamin Gilbert, Mountain to Mouth Artistic Director Meme McDonald, Mahony Maia Kiely, Leonard Tebegetu, Mayor Darryn Lyons and Manager of Arts and Culture Kaz Paton at the  Eastern Beach ceremony.

Wadawurrung Elder Uncle Bryon Powell smoking 2014 Canoe artist Benjamin Gilbert, Mountain to Mouth Artistic Director Meme McDonald, Mahony Maia Kiely, Leonard Tebegetu, Mayor Darryn Lyons and Manager of Arts and Culture Kaz Paton at the Eastern Beach ceremony.

Mahony Maia Kiely is a community artist and sculptor who was previously involved in Mountain to Mouth in 2009 and 2014. She has worked in Australia and around the world over the past 25 years as an artistic director, choreographer, creative producer and performer. Mahony also worked on the 2015 Pacific Games Opening Ceremony, where she made a sea of lanterns with 1000 school children and teamed up with Leonard to create a giant Conch structure. It was here the collaborative relationship begun, which will continue in Mountain to Mouth 2016.

The burnt shell of Canoe from Mountain to Mouth 2014 by Benjamin Gilbert.

The burnt shell of Canoe from Mountain to Mouth 2014 by Benjamin Gilbert.

Leonard Tebegetu and Mahony Maia Kiely will work together over the next month to create Canoe - as well as undertake a series of workshops together for professional artists across the region. Both artists bring different skills to the process of building the bamboo and cane structure, and are looking forward to engaging in cultural and creative exchanges with local artists and Indigenous Elders.

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

Discarded yesterday but valued today

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.

Moorpanyal Park  Image: Lois

Moorpanyal Park

Image: Lois

“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. 

Submerged tire at Moorpanyal Park Beach  Photo by Merinda Kelly

Submerged tire at Moorpanyal Park Beach

Photo by Merinda Kelly

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.

 

A shrine that connects arts, community and the environment

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 3: LIMEBURNERS LAGOON. Matt Crawley is the District Coordinator of Station 3. He is a resident of the Bellarine who is passionate about community engagement and the environment, having worked on related projects for the past 20 years. Matt's role as a District Coordinator focuses on workshopping the vision of the artists, looking for tangible links to the station, the landscape, the history and the community, a process he finds inspiring, challenging and ultimately rewarding, once the community connects with the site and art installation.

Limeburners Lagoon is a wetlands site that is protected under one of the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements, Ramsar. The treaty was negotiated through the sixties and came into force in 1975 as a response to global concerns about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitats for migratory waterbirds. Wetlands are vital for human survival, being amongst the world's most productive environments as a cradle of biological diversity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. Yet study after study demonstrates that wetland areas continue to decline in most regions of the world, compromising the ecosystem services they provide. Simon Macaulay, the artist for the walking circle at this Songline Station, is using his installation to focus attention on the importance of respecting and protecting such sites.

Limeburners Lagoon  Photo by Lynden Smith

Limeburners Lagoon

Photo by Lynden Smith

MC2 at Geelong After Dark 2015

MC2 at Geelong After Dark 2015

MC3 Grass Shrine, builds upon a concept and art piece that was featured at Geelong After Dark 2015. The original work, MC2 was created in the form of a cube that you could enter to meditate on the importance of the native grass lands. MC3 takes the concept further by creating as many different ratios of the original cube to create a multi-sensory experience through projection, smoke, music and spoken word. A galaxy of cubes are ultimately created in a spiral formation reflecting the night sky and celestial motion around a still point. To assist with the production of the different cubes, Macaulay has enlisted the assistance of students at Geelong Grammar School as well as other community centres and residents. The project ultimately serves as a manifestation of a vital aspect of Mountain to Mouth; the bond between arts, community and the environment.

The station at Limeburners Lagoon will be open for two hours from 4:30pm and is a 6.3km walk from Lara RSL. 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.