Mountain to Mouth 2018 - Geelong, Australia

I was selected, in collaboration with Australian artist Kerrie Bedson, to create Canoe, the lead ephemeral processional sculpture of the Mountain to Mouth Extreme Arts Walk.

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In its third reiteration, Mountain to Mouth once again proved to be a great unifier of local communities, consolidating its reputation as a must-do event.

Walkers from across Victoria converged on the City of Greater Geelong and the Borough of Queenscliffe to participate in this biennial event.

The three main ceremonies, Gathering of the Elders at Big Rock; Gathering of the City as part of Geelong After Dark, and, on Saturday night, Gathering of the Elements, on the Barwon Heads foreshore, were among the many highlights of the 80km extreme arts walk covering the City of Greater Geelong and the Borough of Queenscliffe. Drawing thousands of people, the Ceremonies were described as ‘uplifting’, ‘moving’, and ‘life-affirming’. 

Walkers followed the lead ephemeral sculpture, Canoe, created by Ocean Grove artist Kerrie Bedson in collaboration with US-based artist Leslie Pearson, from the You Yangs to Barwon Heads. Canoe was a commission made possible by Deakin University. Bedson and Pearson were successful in obtaining the Commission after a rigorous Expression of Interest process. Many walkers expressed their appreciation of the extraordinary diversity of the landscape and the way different communities came together to create art that was an expression of their local land. As is the tradition, the walk culminated in the burning of Canoe, sent out to sea on the Meme, named in honour of founding Artistic Director Meme McDonald.

In keeping with the 2018 theme, Artistic Director Margie Mackay wove a narrative of hope for the Earth; that which sustains; that which nourishes; and that which heals. The nine songline stations and the three Ceremonies embodied Mackay’s ethos and in turn, has further consolidated the foundation of this multi-award winning event. 

Mountain to Mouth is made possible by the support of Founding Partners Deakin University, Gen-U, the Borough of Queenscliffe, Corangamite CMA, Parks Victoria, Diversitat and, most importantly, the guidance, knowledge and wisdom of the Wadawurrung Corporation and the Wathaurong Co-Operative, specifically Uncle Bryon Powell and Corrina Eccles. The support received from Partner Sponsors WorkSafe, TAC and Geelong Connected Communities go a long way to ensuring that the City of Greater Geelong is embracing a Clever and Creative future.

Desiree Jacobson 
Cultural Marketing and Communications Officer

More about Mountain to Mouth


Mountain to Mountain is bringing ecology into Geelong’s Extreme Arts Walk, through the creation of a long term vision to revegetate the local habitat with plantings of Indigenous species of grasses, trees and shrubs.  Our “Green Corridor” strategy is connecting local communities and revegetation organisations together to care for the eleven songline corridors across the 80km walk, so that the region can retain its natural beauty. In the future, the installation of Mountain to Mouth walking maps and signage at a number of sites will encourage all year walking of this contemporary songline.


M~M is the proud recipient of multiple state and national awards – with the inaugural M~M event (M~M2014) winning a Community Development Award at the Australian Regional Development Conference Innovation Awards 2015; a National award for “Best Community Event”, a State (VIC) award for “Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event” at the Australian Event Awards 2014, and being nominated as one of five Finalists in the “Australian Event of the Year” category. M~M also received an Award for Building Health through the Arts at VicHealth’s 2014 Health Promotion Foundation Awards.


M~M acknowledges Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of this land and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.  M~M is part of the Connecting Identities project of the Arts and Culture Department of the City of Greater Geelong.

Press Coverage

Mountain to Mouth Announces Canoe Artists for 2018 — M~M

Responding to Earth through Performance, Sound and Light - ArtsHub Australia

A Virtual Connection Turns Into An Artistic Collaboration – In Australia-

Local Set to Create Lead Artwork for M2M - Bellarine Times

Refugees Who Fled Conflict Find Solace in Victorian Indigenous Cultural Ceremony-ABC News Australia

Canoe Sets Off with a Message - Geelong Advertiser 

Together From Mountain to Mouth - Bellarine Times

What Makes a Vibrant Community? - Amanda Fisher

Meet Leslie Pearson: Artist's Sculpture Travels 'Mountain to Mouth' - Rodger Mullens, The Fayetteville Observer

Women's View Magazine - Fayetteville, North Carolina