Re-imagining stories on the Maranoa

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in One River Mitchell | One Comment

Last weekend a visit from the One River project manager  coincided with the anniversary of the flooding and evacuation of Mitchell from 2012. This event, still evidently fresh in the community’s  mind, was an opportunity to talk about the river to various people, reflecting on their connection, memories and knowledge of the Maranoa River. Many local people have past generations from Mitchell and therefore stories are ongoing and add to the narrative of the river. [Pic: Jude at Forestvale Crossing with paper at the site of the FlyingFox, photo by JennyWalker]

This week I’ve heard stories about the ancient geology and formation of the river, the disappearance and evolvement  of water holes as each flood passes, of early settlements and the  riverside township which no longer exists, the hardships and adventures of living on remote areas in times before internet and telephone communication and when ‘flying foxes’ and boats carried passengers and supplies across the river. (In some cases this still happens). I’ve learnt something about various fauna from local indigenous knowledge and landcare practices involving different communities groups.

This is just the beginning of a journey along the Maranoa which I am undertaking for the Mitchell local project. I hope to hear and collect more stories and images and experience some of the sensations of the river environment. Some of these site activities will include a sharing of knowledge, and time while drawing, walking and documenting within the river environment.

This picture is of a submerged paper roll in the flow of the Maranoa River at the site of Major Mithcell’s XXIX depot camp of 1846. If you would like to view footage of this visit, go to

An information wall which I invite community members to contribute to will begin in the Mitchell library this week, to develop into a  larger scale map and display in the gallery area at the launch.

In the next few weeks I will be working with three small schools and Mitchell State School on an art-science project using experimental drawings  and Google Earth images. A partnership with visiting printmaker and scientist from Wales has made this possible. The outcome of the  One River Mitchell project will include a launch of  the evolving installation in the ‘Mitchell on Marano’ Gallery, an afternoon event including an artist talk by Jude Roberts and  information about the One River project on  April 19th, 2013 [the exhibition is open 18 April – 30th May 2013] and a closing ceremony and night of food, music, drinks and celebration of the river, May 30th at 5.30pm at the Mitchell on Maranoa Gallery.

The photo below is one the 1956 flood at One Mile Creek, courtesy of John Smerdon and Mitchell Library.

One mile creek 1956 Flood, Mitchell. Source:  John Smerdon and Mitchell Library

One mile creek 1956 Flood, Mitchell.
Source: John Smerdon and Mitchell Library

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Maranoa River -26.474380, 147.975476 Re-imagining stories on the Maranoa
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Comments - One Comment
  1. Heidi
    February 19, 2013

    The submerged paper roll looks very poetic Jude!


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