Immerse yourself in this Multi Arts project Un-Settled which seeks to explore the stories of the land and people of the land; referencing practices of First Nations people, agriculture, and changes occurring with the advance of suburbia.
Taking place at the Portarlington Mill on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, the project Un-Settled is a series of works combining oral history, projection, moving image, installation, music and performance exploring the enduring and emerging narratives of the Bella Wien.
The project will bring together elders, researchers, storytellers, film-makers, oral historians, installation artists, musicians, and farmers, including Jenny Thomas of Bush Gothic and Barry James Gilson, who will bring to life big stories and small, through objects, machinery, voices and light. Narratives that are revealing, unexpected and, frequently, unsettling.
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The project utilises the Portarlington Mill and the natural landscape as a canvas juxtaposing indigenous stories and coloniser stories of yesterday and today. These intersecting stories generate retellings – new emergent stories with the possibility of uneasy, restless, disrupted understandings of the tangible and intangible cultural richness of the Bellarine.
Beginning at 6pm as shadows creep in, guests to the Bellarine will be welcomed to country by Wathaurung man Barry Gilson – smoking, cleansing and stories of the ancient land and its people.
Participants will then enter at ground level for an immersive experience; start a conversation with actors bringing the story of Anne Drysdale and Caroline Newcomb to life; view suspended and fragmented stories of unsettled times; create charcoal marks affirming the continuation of traditional ownership; find a small story that tells what happens when you mix cows and onions!
They’ll then take the stairs, carefully now, and tread lightly, moving into the upper level; view mapped and captured landscapes; walls illuminated with wallpapers projecting layered stories of the land; hear the voices and songs of the land, of now, of then and of a long time; stand close to everyday objects that hold clues to untold stories; move towards suspended objects that gently shift with winds of the times.
Exit by the back stairs and draw towards the fire where stories continue taking cues from the surrounds – fire, stars, wind, trees, sea until 8:30pm.
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With plenty of outdoor space on-site, you can also enjoy some local produce from the Bellarine while you explore. And the best part is this event suitable is for all ages.
This is a free event as part of the Surround Sounds – Geelong & the Bellarine Music Festival. You can find out more here and register for the event here.