ArtTravel

MONA’s DarkLab Announces Project X For Bushfire-Ravaged Huon Valley

What does a region do when it is torn apart by a natural disaster? It rebuilds, with your help.

MONA’s DarkLab announces Project X, a program of contemporary artworks, events and activations taking place over the next 12 months, designed to bring visitors to Southern Tasmania after the wide-spread destructive bushfires over the 2018-19 summer period. The bushfires destroyed much of the surrounding habitat and infrastructure of Huon Valley, including the Tahune Airwalk, a major tourist attraction. Federal and State Governments have provided support to the program with combined funding of $2 million for the project.

“We know people travel for difference – to see, taste, hear and feel different things,” said Emma Terry, Tourism Tasmania’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Mona has had a huge impact on Tasmania’s cultural landscape and its festivals bring thousands of visitors to the state every year.

“So, it’s incredibly exciting to have … the DarkLab team working on Project X to deliver a program of activities that can only be experienced by visitors to the state’s far south region.”

Project X acknowledges the support of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Events Tasmania.

FIRST ART PROJECT ANNOUNCED: Hrafn: Conversations with Odin

Take a journey into the deep, dark wilds of the far south: Project X opens in the Huon Valley with Hrafn: Conversations with Odin by UK artist Chris Watson and The Wired Lab. From 12 June, and continuing beyond the festival. https://project-x.net.au/

Posted by Dark Mofo on Monday, 27 May 2019

Project X begins its year-long journey with an art installation titled Hrafn: Conversations with Odin. It is brought to us by English musician Chris Watson (GBR), who is a sound recordist specialising in natural history, alongside The Wired Lab, an artist-led organisation evolving interdisciplinary art practices in rural Australia.

Opening during Dark Mofo and continuing for three months, Hrafn (rhymes with laughin’) is a major multi-channel ambisonic sound installation presenting the remarkable phenomenon of 2,000 ravens gathering to roost in the high tree canopy overhead at dusk, an avian exchange of sound not usually witnessed by humans.

Just 90 minutes south of Hobart, the audience will be led on a short walk into the forest of Hastings Caves State Reserve, hearing from guides the natural history of ravens, their talismanic lore, plus the beginnings—and the future—of the forest they have entered.

Upon arriving at the artwork’s location, the audience will hear the 2,000 ravens drifting in at dusk—one by one, in pairs, then groups—it is time to be silent and listen deeply as the birds add their conversations to a cacophonous chorus.

Throughout history and across human cultures, the carrion bird has attained a mythic status as a psychopomp, bridging between the worlds of life and death. The Norse god Odin was pictured with the twin ravens roosting on his shoulders, that provided him vision, wisdom, and insight to mortality.

“In the depths of the old growth forests of Southern Tasmania the audience will experience a unique gathering of ravens directly overhead as darkness falls,” said artist Chris Watson.

The Hrafn audience will hear what Odin heard in the Halls of Valhalla.


The Hrafn event will be held at Hastings Caves State Reserve in Southern Tasmania, and tickets are $55, plus booking fee, which includes a return bus trip from Brooke Street Pier on the Hobart Waterfront

The dates and timings during Dark Mofo are: 

  • Wednesday 12–Sunday 16 June, 2.15pm–9.20pm
  • Wednesday 19–Sunday 23 June, 2.15pm–9.20pm

This installation continues after Dark Mofo, with dates and timings announced shortly.

Warning: Tasmanian weather is infamously unpredictable, so please dress appropriately for all conditions, including rain and freezing temperatures. Hiking shoes are recommended (with a double layer of socks!)

If you are sensitive to loud noise, you may find the artwork difficult to experience.

Please note: Due to the nature and timing of the artwork, all visitors must travel to the Caves via the bus during Dark Mofo.

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