Experience the ngurrak barring trail

Published on 24 January 2023

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A concert immersed in nature, an installation of breathing trees and a walking performance will bring the ngurrak barring (RidgeWalk) trail to life in February.

While trail upgrades are continuing and the ngurrak barring trail is due for completion in 2024, live performance along the trail and in other locations in Yarra Ranges will give the community a taste of what is to come for the project, which is envisioned to inspire and incubate art of all kinds into the future.

The five live artworks taking place this summer respond directly to their environments and are all delivered by artists with an intimate connection to the area.

Part of Burrinja Climate Change Biennale, Peter McIlwain’s ‘Lung Trees’ will open the program and stay in situ at the iconic Alfred Nicholas Gardens throughout February.

“We know climate change is real but we can’t feel it” says McIlwain.

“This artwork suggests that it might be easier to connect if we could hear the trees breathing in CO2 from our lungs and machines and breathing out the air we need to live.”

On February 4, Serenity Point in the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden will play host to an outdoor concert by composer and pianist Nat Bartsch who will also perform her ARIA-nominated album Hope.

“It is about both hopefulness and hopelessness – it is my response to the Black Saturday Bushfires and COVID-19 lockdowns.”

Other performances will invite audiences to experience Country through movement and a working bee to care for Country at Coranderrk alongside Wurundjeri knowledge holders.

Two guided walks will merge with a performance by Environmental Performance Authority (EPA) and engage audience-participants with the atmospheres and climate of Mount Corhanwarrabul (Mount Dandenong).  

On Sunday 26 February, dancers and vocalists will perform BIOME in the context of a Belgrave community garden and on 25 February Lend a Hand at Coranderrk offers an opportunity to listen to Wurundjeri knowledge holders Uncle Dave and Darren Wandin sharing their perspectives on global heating and environmental change.

Burrinja CEO and Creative Director Gareth Hart said the activations along the future ngurrak barring trail demonstrates the poignancy of ngurrak barring in providing opportunities for artists to develop and perform their work, by being deeply connected to this place.

“The Dandenong Ranges is Country rich in meaning, history and biodiversity, and Live Actions is a distinctive program that reflects this,” Gareth said.

“We are very excited to collaborate on these works as part of the Biennale – which will allow audiences distinctive and memorable experiences of live performance in stunning natural environments!”

Find out more and book your tickets at Live Actions.

Live Actions is an outdoor program as part of Burrinja Climate Change Biennale, expanding environmentally responsive art across the stunning sites of Yarra Ranges through February 2023 in lively embodied forms. The Burrinja Climate Change Biennale is delivered in partnership with Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, ngurrak barring/RidgeWalk, Yarra Ranges Council and Your Library.