Category Archives: walking

Guangzhou “Smelly Creek” Walk with Trevor

Yesterday after a long lunch with Trevor, Anthony and Hanting near Observation Society, Trevor and I decided to walk the small creek that I spotted yesterday from the window of my hotel room.

The creek runs very close to the OS gallery, it was only a matter of 30 seconds to reach it from there. I asked Trevor if the creek had a name, he said it was just generally known locally as the “smelly river”.

The waterway looks more like a canal, with stone walls shoring up the edges. Unlike our creeks in the Illawarra, it’s clearly an official recreational route, with pathways all along and people jogging and riding bikes.

To walk this little “joiner” of a creek is to realise just how vast Guangzhou is. It looks like a small distance on the map, but it took a few hours just to do less than half of it, heading north. Here’s Trevor inspecting the map as we decide how much of the river to tackle:

trevor looking at map, smelly river

The “x” marks on this map show how far we got:

annotated map

There were numerous obstacles, bridges and giant highway obstructions, as well as outflow pipes from the surrounding neighbourhood which flow into the creek, and fat hydraulic pipes spanning its breadth.

hydraulic pipe, guangzhou river

At one point we had to make a huge diversion due to a blockage of the river where it looked like a new roadway was being built. The waterway was completely blocked by a dump of rubble. This might be one of the reasons the water is not moving at all, and why it’s on the smelly side.

rubble blockage

Our diversion took us through a market selling vegetables, plastic household items, as well as live animals like eels, frogs, turtles and scorpions:

scorpions in market

Trevor lives in Hong Kong, and hasn’t had much time to explore Guangzhou beyond coming here occasionally for exhibitions, so this was as much an adventure for him as it was for me.

And although this walk was an urban exploration of sorts, getting to know the neighbourhood, it was also very much about the two of us spending time together, getting to know each other, while moving continuously through space, with “adherence to the creek” as a guiding score.

And as Trevor said halfway through our walk – after a while you don’t even notice the smell.

trevor and lucas on walk

The Great West Brunswick Goat Walk

goat pennant

Thursday morning, 6:55am – Bob The Goat trots into our goat-deprived lives, thanks to the power of good old fashioned broadcast radio. In all the excitement, I almost forget my commitment to the West Brunswick Sculpture Triennial. I’m supposed to make a pennant to commemorate the festival!

Friday night, 10:30pm – at Kylie and Damien’s place, Lisa and I set up a little fuzzy-felt sheltered pennant-making workshop. With sharp scissors flashing, the corner of my tongue sticking out of the side of my mouth, and the help of some stinky craft glue, I put together the goaty pennant you see hanging proudly alongside its buddies in the photo above. (The reverse side says, simply, BOB).

(I was quite pleased with this craftily constructed artwork, especially given that I only began making it just before midnight, and after consuming a few glasses of a very good wine Damien cracked open. However, I cannot take all the credit – a big shout out to this website, from which I pinched the basic goat-face formula…)

Saturday afternoon, 3:30pm – under the hanging pennants, at 135 Union Street, West Brunswick, a tribe of goat enthusiasts gather expectantly to await Bob’s arrival. We’re about to start the Great West Brunswick Goat Walk!
Continue reading

strange strolls in fremantle

this email came through from Perdy Phillips, in Perth. She recently organised a sound project called "strange strolls":

Hi There

Today [17 Dec 2005] is the last day of the strange strolls sound and walking art
project at the Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, Henry Street
Fremantle, Western Australia.

This project saw 16 Australian and international artists create sound
walking tours of Fremantle.  The viewer/listener hired a standard CD
Walkman from the Gallery and headed out into the streets of the West End. 
Audiences were taken away from the everyday by the sound experience
created.  The 14 different sound walks were extremely varied.  Some
artists lived locally and their works reflected personal connections to
place. Others had never been south of the Equator.  Central to the project
was the differences created between what you hear and what you see:  the
imaginative journeys undertaken extended the experience of the body and
made the streets living, luminous and imbricated.

For more details see

For those of you who could not make it you can purchase a catalogue at

Also, a big thank you to everyone who assisted with the project during
the last three years.


strange strolls
Curator: Perdita Phillips. Catalogue writer:  Nyands Smith.
Participating artists: Begum Basdas (Turkey/USA) Viv Corringham (England/USA)
Robert Curgenven (NT) Lawrence English (QLD) Aaron Coates Hull (NSW) Maria
Manuela Lopes and Paulo Bernardino (Portugal) Minaxi May (WA) Roxane
Permar (Shetland) Perdita Phillips (WA) Ric Spencer (WA) Kieran Stewart
(WA) Aili Vahtrapuu and Virve Pulver (Estonia) Walter van Rijn
(England/The Netherlands) Dorothee von Rechenberg (Switzerland).

Parramappa – Photos and Stories about places

Via Antipopper:

"What makes a place interesting? How do we relate to it, and why — especially if we come from somewhere else? How do they become familiar or strange? These questions are what Parramappa is all about. Young people from refugee and newly arrived migrant backgrounds wandered Parramatta, taking photos and writing stories about different places. Choose a map to zoom into and find out about each neighbourhood."