Immerse Public Art Program
City of Knox
21 – 22 Sept, 2019
A guided walk, a workshop and a performance: EPA artists facilitated an adventure that delved the mysteries and wonders of Blind Creek, Ferntree Gully, for Immerse Public Art program. We invited audiences to walk blindfolded, share in Indigenous perspectives, witness a dance of the missing creek and play dating games with local fauna and flora.
Environmental Performance Authority’s playful performance style activated and responded to the local terrain drawing audiences’ attention to their surroundings in new ways, inviting participants to listen and notice things easily missed.
Blind Creek has been buried and disappeared underground at this point of its trajectory. This provoked us to focus on the sense of sight and its omission. We activated perception via the other senses. The idea of a ‘blind date’ was explored in terms of acquainting with this place through hilarious dating-like questions and observations.
EPA experienced Blind Creek’s subterranean suppression as a pressing desire for a return to its former flow and environmental restoration. This, literally, underpinned our walk. Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter, welcomed audiences with a smoking ceremony and generously shared cultural knowledge and performance with us. He concluded the performance by leading a participatory chant. Contributions from members of ‘Friends of Blind Creek Billabong’ wove local experiences of past, current and future ecological conditions into the performance. Another aspect of the work was public art installation by EPA in collaboration with stencil artist Jeff Stewart, in the underpass beneath Dorset Road, where the walk commenced.
Photos Laki Sideris