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Station 6: Barwon River Rowing Precinct

Walking Circle: Lost River View

  • Barwon River Rowing Precinct 18 Barwon Terrace South Geelong, VIC, 3220 Australia (map)

Station Open: 6:00am - 7:45am

BARWON RIVER ROWING PRECINCT - where extreme art meets sport in the early morning.

Lost River View

Eugene von Guérard’s painting View of Geelong, 1856

Lost River View walking circle emulates a river of reflection both of light and thought. The design of the walking circle signifies the change of direction in the Barwon River at the Bunyip Pool below Buckley Falls. The river walking circle is formed by water-filled cooking vessels, symbolizing settlement along the river.

At the centre, is a sculpture, a river shape extracted from Eugene von Guérard’s painting View of Geelong, 1856. The rib-like cage supports the river surface and reflects the light of its environment.

In the contemporary landscape, von Guérard’s river is no longer visible from Montpelier Park, the likely point of view for his painting.

The environment has changed as suburbia has encroached on this place of cultural significance. The reflective surface of the river is lost to the viewer.

Artist: Jennifer McElwee

For well over a century the general public was unaware that von Guérard’s painting existed. Would the subdivision around Montpellier Park proceeded if View of Geelong had been in the Geelong Gallery’s collection rather than in private ownership in England? Would the self-esteem of the Geelong community be stronger if it was known how highly the region and painting was regarded internationally? The examination of this site and its connection to von Guérard’s painting shows the value of regarding significant sites when building community.