Weaving Stories will be led by Master Weavers the length of the River and hosted in Mildura by the Mildura Palimpsest Biennale and The Murray Darling Dreamtime Weavers. Together the group will produce a major sculptural installation for the Biennale from reeds and found materials the length of the river.
Supported by state, federal and regional arts funding Weaving Stories intersects with another extraordinary Biennale project, an artists’ walk the length of the Murray River – Walking Slowly Down Hill. Artists Domenico de Clario (Italian /Australian) and Mark Minchinton (Noongar) will walk the Murray River from source to sea presenting the results of their walk at the Biennale in October. Before they take their first step the artists will consult with communities along the River and will begin by asking Traditional Owners for permission to walk on their land.
Walking Slowly Down Hill: Weaving Stories are two intersecting projects that provide opportunities to generate cross-cultural dialogue and understanding across the region and internationally. The installation and performance during the Biennale is an immersive experience where the audience are welcomed to interact with the artists, listen to artists’ talks and will have the opportunity to sit down together for several meals during the course of the opening weekend.
From February to June 2015 there will be a series of weaving workshops, held in five locations along the river - Albury, Barmah, Swan Hill, Mildura and Camp Coorong in S.A. As the walkers intersect with these five locations, public performances will be held revolving around meetings with Traditional Owners, campfire talks, weaving and walking together. From mountain to sea there will be many stories to tell. People can join in one activity for one day or become centrally involved in these projects
Biennale Co-Curator Helen Vivian said … “When we began this process we did not even know all the names of the many Indigenous Nations along the Murray River, let alone who to speak to or how to get in touch with them. We still have a long way to go but the response from communities has been very encouraging and enthusiastic. The Biennale will provide a great place for opening up a conversation about intercultural living in this global contemporary world. It has already been an extraordinary journey and we are thrilled to be hosting so many weavers in one spot to get the project started.”
The project aims to encourage intercultural discussion, to enrich and enliven our community and to encourage artists and audiences from all over Australia and Internationally to be curious about our region. The Biennale is an
international event that provides opportunities for artists to build professional networks and showcase regional art and culture to the world.
Over nine months from February to October 2015 communities along the river are invited to meet and walk together and take part in weaving workshops.