Contemporary Songline

Top 5 reasons to go to Mountain to Mouth 2016 this weekend


1 - Art like you've never seen it before!

From beaches to farmlands to wetlands to ancient mountaintops, prepare to experience extreme arts in extreme and unexpected environments.  The ephemeral art installations at Mountain to Mouth 2016 vary dramatically in style, genre and aesthetic.

They reflect the history of the area as well as addressing issues facing the environment of their setting. Mountain to Mouth 2016 is an unmissable chance to view these unique works which exist so temporarily. 

 

2 - Help us replant the land!

50% of tickets sold to Mountain to Mouth 2016 go towards funding an indigenous revegetation program across the Geelong and Queenscliff region.

This initiative will help retain the regions natural beauty, its biodiversity and ecological future. By walking this land, you're helping to preserve its future.

 

 

3 - Discover the land!

This is an opportunity to experience and discover the Geelong and Queenscliff regions in a very personal yet communal way.

The diversity of this region will startle and move you, with iconic coastal beaches, rural farmlands, industrial ports and more all along the route of the walk. This walk allows you to forge a bond with the land and its various intricacies. 

 

 

4 - Get fit!

What better way to motivate you to embark upon a significant physical challenge than to see Extreme Arts, protect the environment and discover the land?

The same question with the different aspects of it rearranged can be posed to just as great of an effect. That is what makes Mountain to Mouth so special and unique. You can choose the distance, and you can choose the challenge. 

 

 

5 - Connect with history

Discovery is a large component of this event. By witnessing the different areas of the region, you discover more about the nature of its past, its present and the reality of its future through the narratives told by the artists, local historians and indigenous elders. 

One final reason: Mountain to Mouth only occurs every two years, don't miss out!

 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 

Connecting Memories app update

The Connecting Memory app has just been updated to dramatically improve user experience, with easier layouts, smaller download size and seamless integration with online maps.

The app taps into a rich collection of digital stories about the iconic places and fascinating people of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. Local voices tell local stories through film, spoken word, song, images and text. 

Stories are clustered around the footprint of the Mountain to Mouth Contemporary Songline, a path which extends from the You Yangs Regional Park mountain range to the beautiful Barwon Heads river. The app is a useful and experience enhancing companion for participants of Mountain to Mouth 2016 as it alerts you to nearby stories.

Travellers on the route can unearth content by traversing the land and walking circles based on ancient labyrinth designs to unlock stories as they pass through grasslands, industrial nightscapes, the city centre, rural landscapes and beaches across the diverse municipality. 

Highlights include Serendip wildlife sanctuary, Bob McGovern Path, Hovells Creek, Limeburners Lagoon, North Geelong and North Shore, Corio Bay, Western Bay walk, Geelong Waterfront, Steampacket Gardens, Bellarine Rail Trail, Swan Bay, Point Lonsdale, Ocean Grove Beach and Barwon Heads. 

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.