Five Weeks in Spring: An Emotional Map of Lilydale

Marnie Badham & Tammy Wong Hulbert (artists)

Force of Nature Live Art Exhibition, Gretel Taylor (curator)

Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Victoria, Australia

September 8 to October 14, 2018

Five Weeks in Spring was a socially-engaged art project that visualised local engagement in public space and responded to the changing natural environment through the creation of an emotional map of Lilydale. The nearby surrounds of the Yarra Ranges offer a beautiful landscape of hills and rivers for vista and recreation; however, local concerns extreme weather events such as wind, floods, or summer bushfire are not distant. As a map of emotions, artists invited locals to register their perceptions and attachments to public space in Lilydale and surrounds. 

The project was prepared over several months before the opening of the exhibition, with the artists presenting themselves as self appointed 'artists in residence'. The public were consulted through the local library and gallery before and during the exhibition. When the exhibition opened the map of Lilydale and surrounds was presented as a blank map. The public were invited over the exhibition period to personally contribute towards the map, with the map being completed with the closing of the exhibition. The final outcome came to represent an emotional mapping of selected residents of Lilydale, showing where they had personal attachments to place and their environment. 

Collaborating artist Marnie Badham is a socially-engaged artist-researcher in Canada and Australia, her participatory arts methods engage communities in questions of place, identity and cultural value.