Mountain to Mouth 2016 - Geelong’s extreme arts walk - was an amazing achievement by a remarkable team of artists. It was yet again, a great privilege to be Artistic Director and have the opportunity to draw together over 90 artists working with hundreds of people along the 80 kilometre contemporary songline to achieve this rare moment that is there and gone within little more than 24 hours. Here are photographs of the highlights.
Canoe Artists: Leonard Tebegetu & Mahony Keily; Photographer: Dean Walters
I was invited to speak at Geelong’s first Environmental Film Festival on the theme of Creative Arts and the Ecology. The M~M2014 video was screened along with several really moving short films about projects across Australia that are making a difference to the way we relate to land. The panel was asked to speak on our experience as ‘storytellers’, in the broadest sense, and the arts/film projects we are engaged with. I read from some new memoir writing - Brolga - to introduce where I grew up in western Queensland, then touched on Waderbirds and M~M2016 - Geelong’s extreme arts walk. Thanks to Innate Ecology for the invitation.
M~M2016 has announced the line-up of twelve Geelong or regional artists commissioned to create ephemeral art installations at 12 locations along the M~M contemporary songline. As Artistic Director, I had a wonderful time selecting these artists with the M~M District Co-ordinators. It gave an insight into the range of artists in the region but also the amazing opportunity that these commissions provide for artists to step beyond their usual practice and install site specific artworks in these unusual locations. These artworks are there only for the time of the extreme arts walk - mostly, no more than 24 hours. So don’t miss seeing these 12 works on May 6th and 7th. The timetable and locations are here.
Canoe - major Australian Ephemeral Art Commission
M~M2016 is offering an extraordinary commission for artists based in Australia or overseas - $20,000 to build ‘Canoe’ for Geelong’s 2016 extreme arts walk 6 - 7 May. We are thrilled that this commission has been funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. Please pass the EOI to any innovative artists / sculptors / architects / builders / dreamers. The deadline for Expressions of Interests is 8 February. Collaborating with the creator of Canoe to achieve the lead processional artwork for M~M is a highlight of my role as Artistic Director. I look forward to beginning this work with the successful Canoe lead artist soon.
Interview with WordMothers
Meme was recently interviewed by Nicole Melanson from WordMothers, a site dedicated to showcasing women's work in the literary arts around the world. Follow this link to a transcript.
Geelong After Dark 2015
Geelong After Dark was a hit again in its second year. Approximately 10,000 people attended, resulting in 19,500 visits to individual GAD locations; a total of 247 artists participated; around 95 new art works were created specifically for the event on May 8th around the Geelong city centre. M~M created six delicious offerings developed with groups along the M~M contemporary songline. These creations are a taste of things to come at M~M2016. Dates are now confirmed - May 6th & 7th 2016.
VicHealth’s 2014 Health Promotion Foundation Awards judged M~M2014 the winner of their Arts Award on December 3rd 2014. On stage to receive this wonderful acknowledgement are: Duncan Esler, Co-ordinator Arts and Culture City of Greater Geelong; Kaz Paton, Manager Arts and Culture City of Greater Geelong; Meme McDonald, Artistic Director M~M2014; Jerri Rechter VicHealth CEO. Take a look at the highlights on the short video and photo narrative in the Projects section of this website under M~M2014.
M~M2014 named Best Community Event at the national 2014 Australian Event Awards on November 11th 2014. M~M2014 also scooped the State award for Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event in Victoria and was a finalist in the Australian Event of the Year category.
M~M2014 invited people of all ages and abilities to walk one or more legs of an 85km arts and culture pathway on on 9-10 May 2014.The event featured a gathering of elders ceremony at Big Rock in the You Yang mountains, 12 resting stations along the way where large walking circles were especially created for the event by teams of local artists, and a spectacular closing ceremony at Barwon Heads.
The German translation of Njunjul the Sun by Swiss publisher Boabab Books has just been released - July 2014. Many thanks to Sonja Matheson and her wonderful publishing team in Basel.
Meme’s essay, You Have My Heart, is included in the recent edition 44 of Griffith Review - Cultural Solutions.
Grififth REVIEW 44: Cultural Solutions explores new ways people are working together and solving social problems that governments and other organisations have struggled with. ‘In this edition our contributors share the cultural solutions that are transforming the lives of Australian people and communities,’ says Griffith REVIEW editor Julianne Schultz.
Cultural Solutions puts flesh on the bones of the cultural richness around us and proves its success in providing new fixes for old problems.
Meme's essay CHILD is published in this month's Griffith Review Edition 42: Once Upon a Time in Oz
'DAWN is rising in a pink and grey shriek of galahs. Child, already out of close warmth of swag, tugs my hand. Campfire needs stoking but in the shiver of morning there is something more urgent. Five hours drive the day before and we camped behind this ridge, a stand of she oak nearby promising firewood, rare in desert country, a necessity after sundown. Raised on the muster of sheep and cattle and boiling the billy on open fire, I showed Child the way my mother had shown me to collect sticks watching for spider and centipede, scorpion in this country; showed Child my father’s way of bringing match to twig using the wind as breath. Nestling into Earth, we linked pinkie fingers and swore to be at the top of ridge for dawn.'