Creative Response: Part 4 – Impressions left on walking circle sites
Meme McDonald, Artistic Director of Mountain to Mouth, suggested looking at the walking circle sites after the event to see what impression (if any) was left of the walkers or the art installations.
This slide show is the result of visits to eleven of the sites over a month or so.
The twelfth site, (Site 11 – Point Lonsdale) was not included in the slide show for two reasons. First, the site planned for the walking circle (on a lower walking path) was not used. The circle was placed on a low table near the playground/picnic area. Secondly, the walking circle was portable – a sandstone sculpture. The walkers did not walk the circle, but traced the sandstone labyrinth with their fingers.
The first post-event photographs were taken on the two days after Mountain to Mouth.
At Moorpanyul Park the Barwon River Rowing Precinct sites there was no trace left of the circles or of the walkers foot marks.
At Lara RSL, the circle was still defined by twigs.
At Limeburner’s Lagoon, Steampacket Place and Drysdale Station, there was a trace of the preparative paint, but no sign of footmarks from those walking the site.
At Big Rock, the walking circle in ochre and sand was still fully visible, and the surrounding wall of dead wood. The sand in the labyrinth centre was still visible. This was despite heavy rain on the second day of M~M. There was no sign of footmarks.
At Swan Bay and Barwon Heads, the circles were marked by sand. This was still clear, with footmarks in the sand, in the two days after the event.
At Ocean Grove, the walking circle was on the beach – and was made by sand walls and sculptures. The day after the event part was washed away and the rest showed signs of people’s feet.
The circle at Christie’s Road, Leopold, is a permanent fixture, made as a path through a small grove of native plants and trees. The day after the event, there was no sign of the event evident.
For those sites where there was still evidence of the walking circles in the two days after the event, follow-up photographs were taken in the following few weeks.
By June 6th, the only sites with any evidence of walking circles were Big Rock, where the circle was still clearly evident (though the surrounding stick wall had been dismantled), Swan Bay where the sand circle was still evident, though less obvious through overgrown grass, and Barwon Heads, where the circle was still evident, but the sand was spreading and merging into the grass.
The tide had completely removed all evidence of the walking circle at Ocean Grove.
Where there was still evidence of the circles and their labyrinths, people were still walking them. When questioned, none of those I spoke to knew why the circles were there.
I intend to take follow-up photographs at Big Rock, Swan Bay and Barwon Heads over the next few weeks and months until there is no trace of any walking circle.
While the traces left of the event on the land may be few, the traces left by the land on those who were part of Mountain to Mouth will, for many, be life long memories.
The header image: part of the art installation at Ocean Grove walking circle.