COMING 19 MAY

Photo by Carla Gottgens
A big bold public art bus tour

Step back in time and take a ride through Kingston’s history this May. Join the biggest, boldest public art program ever seen in the municipality.

Six Moments in Kingston features a curated bus tour, new music, video, sculpture and performance works dotted throughout Kingston. Over 2 weekends in May buses departing from the Kingston Arts Centre will tour 6 public artworks, responding to some of the most interesting and bizarre stories from Kingston’s history from the 1970s and 80s. 

Featuring voice-over stories told by legendary Australian actor Michael Caton the bus tour will take passengers on a 2 hour experience that stops at 6 locations where each historical moment originally occurred. The City of Kingston received a $65,000 grant from Creative Victoria from their Creative Suburbs Program grant to create this exclusive travelling arts experience which has been curated by David Cross and Cameron Bishop.

The 6 infamous moments the Six Moments in Kingston bus tour will visit include: 

  • A celebration of globally successful Parkdale-raised rocker Rick Springfield who received the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance with 'Jessie's Girl'
  • the mysterious disappearance of aviator Fred Valentich who flew out from Moorabbin airport in 1978 never to be seen again
  • The election of Moorabbin’s first female councillor and mayor, Julie Cooper, in 1976;
  • VFL player Phil Carman’s notorious head-butting incident at Moorabbin Oval which resulted in a 20-week suspension;
  • The story of The Grange, a homestead built on the Nepean Highway in the late 1800s controversially demolished in 1983 and replaced with the Moorabbin Police Station, and
  • The protest movements that mobilised Moorabbin including the tent protest against homelessness by two teenage girls, protests for fair wages, and anti-nuclear armament marches. 

The 6 artists selected and inspired by these significant moments include video artist and animator Laresa Kosloff, craftivist Tal Fitzpatrick, curator and artist Spiros Panigirakis, multidisciplinary collective Field Theory, conceptual artist Steven Rhall and performance artist Shane McGrathStep back in time and climb aboard Kingston’s own magical mystery bus tour! 

Summary of moments

1976 – Moorabbin City’s first female mayor
Artist – Tal Fitzpatrick
On 12 June 1902, Australia became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote and stand for office however, in Moorabbin, it wasn’t until 1976 (74 years later) that the first female councillor, Julie Cooper, was elected. This hands-on craftivism project celebrates the contribution of female (and gender non-conforming) leaders and empowers participants to take part in the struggle for gender equality.

1977 – The Grange is demolished
Artist – Spiros Panigirakis
This project reflects on the divisive and contentious debates led by a number of interest groups – arts, theatre, youth groups, accommodation services and commercial enterprises – around the restoration of The Grange, a prominent settler homestead built in 1856. Redeveloped in 1977, the Moorabbin Police Station now occupies the old Grange site. The project considers this site, the edifice of the Moorabbin Police Station, and the suburban home of Tony and Dimitra Panigirakis in Moorabbin. It explores the notion of redevelopment through a series of fictional redevelopment proposals for the current site of the Moorabbin Police Station. Using planning documents, real-estate hoardings, and other public platforms that announce proposed redevelopment plans, heritage issues, and planning approvals, a series of developer’s hoardings explore the notion of who controls redevelopment. Working with Kingston Council landscape architects and urban planners, as well as his parents iconic Moorabbin home, Panigirakis looks at the ways municipal bureaucracy mediates redevelopment ideas and architectural propositions. The work culminates in a series of installations across Moorabbin, and the production of an artist’s book that incorporates administrative and visual documentation surrounding the journey of the project.   

1978 – A pilot goes missing after taking off from Moorabbin airport
Artist – Field Theory
“It is not an aircraft.” On 21 October 1978, Frederick Valentich went missing flying a Cessna 182L shortly after taking off from Moorabbin airport. Radio reports reveal the pilot’s sighting of a metallic aircraft moving at high speed. Reports further southeast noted a similar aircraft sporting multiple lights on its belly. Partnering with the Australian National Aviation Museum and the Victorian UFO Action Group, Field Theory will work with volunteers to tell the conflicting stories, myths and unassuageable mysteries that took this story to the top of Australian security organisations. This interactive project will drop an audience deep into the Valentich mystery. 

1979/82 – Protests and activists in Moorabbin
Artist – Steve Rhall
Steve Rhall responds to historic protest narratives in Moorabbin around the movement for equal pay at the Phillip Morris factory and the live-in protest against homelessness conducted by two teenage girls at Kingston Town Hall. The project reverberates with international and national protest movements and broader Australian social concerns. Performance elements will include: narratives broadcast via the bus tour public address system, an animated tent installed at the Town Hall that responds directly to historic Moorabbin narratives and the voice/identity of marginalised populations, reference to an infamous incident involving a tow truck and physical struggles between constabulary and workers at the former Phillip Morris car park, a public art installation using illuminated LED boards and text developed with community consultation. This project has been developed alongside The Gathering Place and Kingston Koorie Mob.

1980 – VFL footballer headbutts umpire at Moorabbin Oval
Artist – Laresa Kosloff 
Laresa Kosloff will create a playful video work that explores the gestural and symbolic basis of Aussie rules football and the 1980 Phil Carman head-butting incident. Phil Carman was one of the VFL’s most awarded players. He was also frequently reported for bad behaviour. His unprecedented display of violence and machismo that infamously saw him head butt umpire Graeme Carberry, earned him a year-long suspension and destroyed his football career. Local footballers will perform in the work through the creation of large scale photographic props and a choreographed video work. 

1981 – Rick Springfield from Parkdale releases hit-song 'Jessie’s Girl'
Artist – Shane McGrath

This project involves a short street parade that will take place on Melrose Street, finishing outside the last family home of rocker Rick Springfield. The parade will consist of musicians and singers, banner flag-bearers, and a phalanx of Bull Terriers-  after Rick Springfield’s love of the breed.  The musicians will be performing their own rendition of the 1981 hit 'Jessie’s Girl'. Each busload of audience members will disembark, fall in behind the parade and make their way to number 50 where a guitarist will play the solo from beginning to end. 

Dates: Sat 19 May, Sun 20 May, Sat 25 May and Sun 26 May
Times: 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Buses depart Kingston City Hall, 985 Nepean Highway, Moorabbin
Tickets: $7.50 – $10

Bookings and more information: kingstonarts.com.au/PUBLIC-PROGRAMS/SIX-MOMENTS-IN-KINGSTON

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