In May 2017 I spent nine days in the tiny Victorian town of Walhalla as Artist in Residence.
Although not that far from the town of Moe, and only two hours drive to Melbourne, Walhalla feels isolated. It sits low in a narrow valley, and is accessed via a winding road through beautiful rain forests – full of magnificent tree ferns and eucalypts.
It emerged out of the Victorian gold rush, and when in the early 1900’s it became too expensive to mine, and with many miners heading off to war, the town almost died.
Now, a hundred years on, Walhalla is a pretty town surrounded by dense vegetation that has grown up to replace all that was lost in the total devastation caused by mining. In amongst the huge trees and ferns, dripping with mist, the layers of mulch and the myriad of fungi, can be found the foundations of miners cottages, their gardens, bits and pieces of their waste … ceramics, bottles, and metals.
A fascinating archeological exploration. This is a take on my nine days there.
The residency was part of CREATIVE GIPPSLAND, funded through the Walhalla Board of Management and Baw Baw Shire Council.