Launch of Remnant Canoe
Posted 11 May 2017
A permanent legacy of the City of Greater Geelong’s Mountain to Mouth biennial extreme arts walk has been unveiled at Big Rock in the You Yangs Regional Park.
Internationally renowned artist Benjamin Gilbert was been engaged to create the permanent public sculpture in honour of M to M’s ephemeral Canoe, which was set alight at the end of the songline at the mouth of the Barwon River in May 2014.
“It’s a real delight to do works that are meaningful and part of a much bigger project. I remember the event having a softness to it and people of all walks of life were gentle with each other and with Canoe – like they were carrying a fragile egg. It was a wonderful experience and created a chance for strangers to meet – that doesn’t often happen in our culture outside of sport.” Artist Benjamin Gilbert.
Mr Gilbert created the 2014 canoe that was carried by participants for more than 80 kilometres from the You Yangs through Geelong to Barwon Heads.
Gilbert’s sculpture, Remnant Canoe, is made from stainless steel bars using the same base and wheel of the original canoe.
The artist – whose work has been acquired by many including Denmark on the advice of Princess Mary – is honoured that his sculpture will be installed in the You Yangs Regional Park.
Remnant Canoe was launched at a twilight picnic at Big Rock on Thursday 4 May where the City of Greater Geelong handed hand over the work to Parks Victoria.
Celebrations included sand patterning, artists at work, astronomers, native plant propagation, dance and illuminated artworks.
The launch included special music such as a song by Wadawarrung man and wordsmith, Barry Gilson, sung in language, followed by a performance created by multi-award winning opera singer and conductor Jonathon Welch AM (of the celebrated School of Hard Knocks).
Uncle Bryon Powell – Executive Officer – Wadawurrung said, “Mountain to Mouth is creating a contemporary songline. It’s a tangible coming together of the old and the new.”