place-based arts research in Geriwerd the Northern Grampians (2019–)
Untitled Station is a residential arts hub for reparative and speculative practices investigating life with changing climate, based on 16 hectares of conservation bush habitat adjacent to Black Range Scenic Reserve. The ancient granite landscape that is the sovereign land of the Djab Wurrung traditional owners provides a unique context with which creative research practices may explore relations with earth, with the more than human, and with the planetary.
regional creative research partnerships
Untitled Station is a conduit for building partnership projects between creative researchers of RMIT University, national and international artist and academic networks, and regional interest groups, organisations, industries and government. We are working in relationship to the dark matter and dark energy scientific research being conducted at the neighboring Stawell Underground Physics Lab; developing ways that deep geological time-based thinking can be embedded in future planning and decision making; and testing immersive place-based approaches to knowledge exchange, research and learning. We are currently inviting collaborations in the Wimmera region to work with RMIT School of Design students and postgraduate researchers in 2020 to develop design responses to critical regional matters that will shape the future.
Invited group creative research events, an artist in residence program, local meets global know-how exchange gatherings, and an audio podcast series are the primary activities of Untitled Station, whilst being the residential living and working place for Mick Douglas and family. A comfortable mud-brick main building, a separate workshop and studio, a shipping container studio, numerous outbuildings, a campground, a food garden pursued through permaculture principles, and most significantly, the vitality of the ancient land, make a stimulating and regenerative situation for open creative enquiry.
restoring earth habitat
Untitled Station at Black Range is 220kms or three hours car or train/bus journey west of Melbourne, between Great Western and Stawell, Australia. The Black Range is granite country rising above the surrounding plain to 300-400metres, resulting from a volcanic intrusion some 450-550 million years ago into what was then the sedimented eastern seabed of the continent. Erosion revealed the Range around 350-400 million years ago, and continues to present the weathered granite outcrops and granite sand soil we encounter today. This is a habitat legally protected by a conservation covenant for its native plants and wildlife, bushland trees and rock formations, watercourses and marshes. Animal life includes wallabies and kangaroos, abundantly diverse birdlife, possums and bats, the antechinus small marsupial, echidnas, the endangered Powerful Owl, amongst many others. Yellow Box and Red Gum Eucalyptus and Black Wattle Acacia trees predominate amongst grasses and sedges, interspersed with lilies and orchids. Invasive species that we are obliged to manage include rabbits, deer and foxes, and weeds introduced through agriculture. We asking ourselves as temporary custodians to leave this land improved as an ecosystem capturing carbon and providing habitats to a rich diversity of species.
Untitled Station is on the sacred land of the Djab Wurrung people, who have never ceded their sovereignty of this land. We acknowledge this land has long been a place where learning, knowledge exchange, cultural lore and trade has taken place, and pay our respects to the traditional owners past, present and emerging. The Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali people are the traditional custodians of nearby Geriwerd, or the Grampians. Whilst Black Range is no longer commonly known by an Indigenous name, it has sacred traditional sites, including Bunjil’s Shelter. For more than a year the Djab Wurrung have been contesting the Vic Roads / Major Roads Projects Authority planned route for the Western Highway duplication, which would require removal of birthing trees and damage the sacred significance of their country east of Ararat. We stand in solidarity with with the Djab Wurrung in seeking to protect their sacred sovereign land, and along with many others, propose an alternative viable highway route.
untitled station is in development over 2019, and will be launched in 2020.