Walking Circles

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.

Reconstruction and reflection at Lara RSL

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 2: LARA RSL. The walking circle at Lara RSL is coordinated by Sue Hartigan, Manager of Cloverdale Community Centre, a non-profit organisation that delivers education, social and cultural programs to a diverse range of community members with varying English proficiency and learning abilities. Sue is passionate about maintaining a community that is inclusive and resilient, with a focus on cultural integration and opportunities for social participation, regardless of age, background or abilities.

Lara RSL  Photo by Sandra Brown

Lara RSL

Photo by Sandra Brown

The Lara RSL building was built in 1865 and is one of the oldest buildings still in use in the area. It has been the headquarters of Lara RSL since 1950.

Preliminary drawing of the concept

Preliminary drawing of the concept

“To The Four Winds”, the walking circle at this historic site is an installation of handmade pinwheels. Guiding the concept and construction of the installation is bricolage, an art style in which a work is created or constructed using a diverse range of things that happen to be available, such as found or discarded objects and materials. Bricolage extends in a philosophical context to the idea that all concepts are borrowed to a certain extent from our heritage, that every human act is in part a reflection of what preceded it.

The pinwheels in the installation are assembled from recycled materials and animated by the movement of air. Constructed from discarded classical album covers on a foundation of hardback books, the pinwheels are overprinted with text relating to the meaning of the word “Lara”. The installation combines the Mountain to Mouth 2016's theme of air with the concept of bricolage, both in the sense of literally using recycled materials as well as philosophically. The philosophical element echoes and plays homage to the historical significance of the site and the layers of memory that exist on the land, from the Wadawurrung balug, to the primitive Methodists, to the RSL and its historical collection.

“To The Four Winds” is constructed by David Dellafiora and Teresa Lawrence, both of whom currently work at Karingal Participate facilitating art activities. David is a cultural worker, teacher and conceptual artist who focuses on alternative art practices such as temporary public art, community collaborations and other practices outside the traditional gallery system. Teresa is a children's book illustrator who comes from a background of textile design and has participated in a range of shows in both print and painting. The songline station at Lara RSL will be open for two hours from 3pm and is the first stop after an (optional) 11.52km walk from the You Yangs. 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.


 

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.

Mountain to Mouth reveals 2016 artist line up

Walking Circle Stamp

Walking Circle Stamp

With Mountain to Mouth 2016 just around the corner, Geelong’s Extreme Arts Walk has announced its 2016 artist line up, following an extensive artist call out late last year.

Artists from the Geelong region will be involved in the creation of 12 “Walking Circles” – which will be located at stations along the 80km journey from the You Yangs mountain range, to the mouth of the Barwon River, at Barwon Heads.

Tasked with a theme of “AIR”, artists are to create ephemeral artworks inspired by traditional labyrinth designs, that explore themes or issues facing the Geelong region. Arts & Culture Portfolio holder Councillor Andy Richards said the multi award-winning Extreme Arts Walk will showcase some of our region’s best artistic talent.

“Renowned artist, Glenn Romanis is set to create 'Banjo Ray' at Swan Bay - a large temporary basalt installation, that will be an ode to the many majestic creatures which reside in Swan Bay.”

“Interdisciplinary artist, Mirjana Margetic will install a sculptural installation 'Grey Tree' at Christies Road, Leopold which will invite and provoke people’s understanding of the environmental issues facing Geelong.”

“Jennifer McElwee will develop a walking circle on the Barwon River called 'Lost River View'  that draws inspiration from von Guérard’s iconic View of Geelong painting whilst Merinda Kelly and students from Deakin University will take people on a 'pop archaeology dig' at Moorpanyal Park.”

“These artists will be joined by other exciting and dynamic Geelong region based artists.” For more information about the walk and for a full artist listing: please visit www.mountaintomouth.com.au/artists

WHAT IS MOUNTAIN TO MOUTH?

Mountain to Mouth is a two day “journey of discovery” across the Geelong region on 6 – 7 May 2016 – an 80km walk from the You Yangs mountain range, crossing Geelong’s industrial heartland at nightfall and arriving into the city centre to collide with Geelong After Dark, central Geelong’s pop up night of arts.

At dawn the next day, walkers follow the Barwon River through rolling Bellarine farmland. Tired legs have the option of riding a historic Bellarine Railway locomotive service across the Bellarine peninsula - or just keep walking – with all participants then walking along ocean beach to reach river mouth at sunset. Register now.

MEDIA CONTACT: JOEL CARNEGIE 03 5272 4985 / jcarnegie@geelongcity.vic.gov.au