Elizabeth Colbert - 'Once Upon A Riverbank'

Wednesday 5 - Saturday 22 October 2022


Click here for artwork by Elizabeth Colbert

Once Upon a Riverbank is a re-imagining of the history of the Musca Street Reserve in Balwyn North. On the surface, the reserve appears to be no more than an appealing place to walk: council-mown grass, a variety of native trees providing shade in the summer, an undulating topography with a soundscape of buffered noise from the Eastern Freeway and the Burke Rd Bridge that edge and span the reserve. Cyclists use the paved bicycle track running through it to commute to and from the city, and for leisure. Local residents walk their dogs through the seasonal changes of clusters of native trees: the acacias in June, the yellow spider flowers of the grevillea robustas between September and November, the melaleucas early summer, the callistemons in summer and autumn.

… once there was a riverbank

… once there were billabongs

… once there were river gums

… once there were wetlands

… once there was ring barking

… once there were split rail fences

… once there was a settlement

… once there were rectangular plots

… once there were prizes for potatoes

… once there were cattle grazing

… once there was a stud farm

… once there was a tip

… once there were bulldozers


 … now there is a freeway

… now there is a berm

… now there is a bicycle track


  … there will be a storage lot


 … there will be an arboretum