Canoe

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.

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.

Mountain to Mouth 2016 unveils plans for three major walk ceremonies

Mountain to Mouth 2016 has unveiled plans for three major walk ceremonies which take place across the 80km journey of discovery on 6-7 May 2016. The three ceremonies celebrate the land, the heritage and the people of the Geelong region. 

GATHERING OF THE ELDERS

The first ceremony occurs at the beginning of the journey at You Yangs Big Rock. Co-directed by Wadawurrung Elder, Uncle Bryon Powell and Mountain to Mouth 2016 Artistic Director Meme McDonald, the silent ceremony focuses on acknowledging the land and its ancestors that walked on it. It gives participants of Mountain to Mouth 2016 the opportunity to contemplate the heritage of the land as well as the journey that lies ahead.

Central to the ceremony is the unveiling of “Canoe” - the ephemeral lead artwork designed by a yet to be announced major artist, that will be carried along the 80 kilometre journey. The sculpture will carry water from the ancient rockwell at Big Rock to rejoin the ocean at Barwon Heads at the conclusion of the journey.

Gathering of the Elders ceremony at Mountain to Mouth 2014  Photo by Gerry Van Der Meer

Gathering of the Elders ceremony at Mountain to Mouth 2014

Photo by Gerry Van Der Meer

 

GATHERING OF THE CITY: GEELONG CONNECTED COMMUNITIES

The second ceremony occurs at 8:10pm in Steampacket Gardens, when the journey of Mountain to Mouth 2016 collides with Geelong After Dark 2016, welcoming walkers to the city centre for a celebration of dance and bringing people together. Dancers from all parts of the city will gather people together to celebrate Mountain to Mouth 2016's theme of “Air”. Everyone is welcome to join in and be a part of the celebrations.

Those who would like to get involved as a dancer can express their interest at mtom@geelongcity.vic.gov.au

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

 

GATHERING OF THE ELEMENTS

The final ceremony will be held at the mouth of the Barwon River from 6pm on Saturday 7 May at Barwon Heads Jetty, marking the conclusion of the 80km journey. It is a ceremony of completion, acknowledging those elements that came together to support our journey both as individuals and as a community on Mountain to Mouth 2016.

In an expression of gratitude, this ceremony returns the precious water carried from You Yangs Big Rock, across 80 kilometres, to where river meets sea, where freshwater and salt become one, at the point of change and exchange, marking endings and beginnings, acknowledging rhythm and flow, standing in past, present and future, for this one moment together.

The closing ceremony also marks the end of the journey for the ephemeral artwork “Canoe”, an end point to consider the ephemeral nature of many aspects of life, the brief yet treasured moments that occur throughout it.

Gathering of the Elements ceremony 2014  Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

Gathering of the Elements ceremony 2014

Photo by Gloria Van Der Meer

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

 

 

The journey of discovery begins at You Yangs big rock

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 coordinate 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 1: YOU YANGS, BIG ROCK. The District Coordinator overseeing the development of the first songline station and walking circle at You Yangs Big Rock is Esther Konings-Oakes, a Geelong based artist who is passionate about the environment and her community. She brings a wealth of experience which includes a previous stint as a District Coordinator and artist at Mountain to Mouth 2014 and Geelong After Dark 2015. She describes the event as a mindful journey that is both literal and figurative, connecting people to the land through thought provoking art.

You Yangs Big Rock is a historically and environmentally significant site, described by Esther as a spiritual place that has been used by indigenous ancestors for thousands of years as a gathering place. It is geologically unique in its structure, with a granite rock base that features an ancient hewn rock well and mysteriously fertile soil that is uncommon for the location. 

You Yangs Big Rock Photo by Willie Wonker

You Yangs Big Rock
Photo by Willie Wonker

The first walking circle is designed by Kerrie Black, an indigenous artist from Geelong with Wemba Wemba and Wathaurong heritage, giving her a special connection to the local area and the land in which she lives. She believes art to be an important part of life, particularly in keeping indigenous stories alive for future generations and to educate the public about her culture and history with the ultimate goal of unifying the community through understanding.

Her installation, "Dance Circle & Fallen Feathers", is a contemporary ceremonial, ground in sand and decorated with bird patterns in ochre. The space is designed to echo the ceremonial spaces of the area that have been danced in for thousands of years. Large fabric feathers referencing the graceful birds, of which the You Yangs are home to over 200 species of, feature at the entrance of the Big Rock to guide walkers to the Gathering of the Elders ceremony at Dance Circle.

From here, the ephemeral sculpture, Canoe, begins its 80 kilometre journey carrying water from the ancient hewn rock well to the mouth of the Barwon River. This event marks the beginning of Mountain to Mouth's journey as a "contemporary songline". A songline is a path across the land recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance and painting. It is said that a knowledgeable person is able to navigate across the land by repeating the words of the song, which describe the location of landmarks and natural phenomena.

Gathering of the Elders ceremony at Mountain to Mouth 2014 Photo by Anne Buckley

Gathering of the Elders ceremony at Mountain to Mouth 2014
Photo by Anne Buckley

This first songline station gives participants the opportunity to begin their journey experiencing something beautiful, meaningful and culturally significant, allowing them to connect with the land, its people and its history like never before.

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

Wanted: Extreme Arts Walk M~M seeks Lead Artist For Major Australian Ephemeral Sculpture Commission. Apply within.

Canoe 2014

Extreme Arts Walk – M~M is now calling on artists based in Australia or overseas to submit an Expression of Interest for a major $20,000 Australian Ephemeral Sculpture Commission – called Canoe.

The Canoe Commission has been made possible by funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. As one of most unique ephemeral sculpture commissions now offered in Australia, the Canoe sculpture will be the lead processional image of M~M2016 (Mountain to Mouth) – Geelong’s multi-award winning 80km extreme arts walk.

As a biennial “journey of discovery” over two days (6-7 May 2016), M~M begins at the You Yangs mountain range, crosses Geelong’s industrial heartland at nightfall and arrives in the city centre to collide with Geelong After Dark, a night of extreme and unexpected arts.

At dawn the next day, the extreme arts walk continues through the city centre to join the Barwon River, through rolling Bellarine farmland, along ocean beach to reach river mouth at Barwon Heads by sunset.

Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons said he was looking forward to seeing the Canoe, in action during M~M2016. “M~M is about land and people and it’s about art bringing these two together which is fantastic,” said Mayor Lyons.

“I encourage local, national and international artists to be part of this major cultural event.”

Tasked with a theme of “AIR” , the successful applicant will be responsible for the design, build and transport of Canoe and will have experience in the field of processional image making, installation art, and/or three dimensional construction. Collaborations will also be considered for this commission.

City of Greater Geelong Councillor Andy Richards Portfolio Holder for Arts & Culture thanked the Australia Council for the Arts for providing a significant cash contribution to the project.

“M~M is an inspiring and unique event and I am delighted that M~M has received funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. I’d also like to thank our core partners, Deakin University, Corangamite CMA, Borough of Queenscliffe, Karingal, Diversitat and Wadawurrung for their ongoing commitment to the event.”

M~M Artistic Director, Meme McDonald said that M~M is a bold artistic gesture in timid times.

“This extreme arts walk anchors us to the land. Canoe will be carried along the 80km route by Geelong ambassadors – an iconic image of journey, of migration, of carrying memory, and carrying the story of this land.”

Expressions of Interest close on 8 February 2016. Further information about the commission can be obtained by contacting the M~M Production Team on +61 3 5272 4703 or jrowe@geelongcity.vic.gov.au. Artists are to submit (up to 10) images of previous work, a Curriculum Vitae and a Statement of Interest. 

Click for full details about this commission.

Register for the walk now.