When toxic run-off from last year’s Tottenham warehouse fire flooded nearby Stony Creek, it quickly flowed out to the bay, destroying virtually all life in its path.
As life slowly returns to the creek, two western suburbs artists are hoping to trace the path to recovery and bring the community along on the journey.
Footscray animator Christie Widiarto and Sunshine visual artist Ana Rita Pires have partnered to develop a new project called Flow, an immersive multimedia collaboration celebrating the waterways of the west.
Pires said the final project, to be unveiled during November’s Due West Festival in the Creative Containers along the Maribyrnong River, will feature a projected animated mural and soundscape, as well as an interactive activation exploring the flow theme.
“There is still a lot of community concern about the impact of this fire and its effect on Stony Creek,” she said.
“So we wanted to start this conversation through an art project about what these waterways mean to people living here and to get people involved in its creation.”
One of the reclaimed shipping containers will feature a projected installation, the other will host an interactive workshop activation.
Pires, an experienced community arts practitioner, wants to draw people of all ages into the work, from young children to long-time residents alike.
“Everyone is invited to join the conversation – there will be some frameworks, but we want to open it out as much as we can,” she said.
“These waterways are such important places in the community, a place for people to spend time with their friends and their families, and art is such a great way to get people thinking and talking about what it means to them.”
An Australian Cultural Fund fundraising page has been set up to assist the project, with donations closing soon.