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Touch this earth lightly

Touch this Earth Lightly

A participatory environmental art project

cry me a river

Council's Community Arts Officer engaged renowned artist Bridget Nicholson to facilitate a national environmental art project in Knox entitled Touch this Earth Lightly.

In the lead up to Stringybark Festival, residents and community groups from Rowville and surrounds conveyed their story about their connection to nature through a sound and visual installation.

Feet were coated in oil and wrapped in gauze, for protection and care. They were then encased in clay, massaged and moulded so that the clay takes on the form of the person, their body, their interaction with the earth.

Voices talk and tell their stories, what they love, what they do, what is important to them, where they live and why. Recordings of these stories formed a soundscape to accompany the installation of the cast feet collection at Stringybark Festival, (Fulham Rd, Rowville) with the year’s theme “Connecting to Nature”. Together the recordings and castings revealed stories of the community as part of a whole, a land, a living breathing changing entity.

Touch this earth lightly started in 2009 as part of the Williams’ River Valley Artists’ Project where Juliet Fowler-Smith invited artists to make work in response to the proposed damming of the Williams River in the Hunter Valley NSW (Tillegra Dam). Touch this earth lightly has developed into a more general project looking at the emotional and cultural connection to land/place and the environment.

People have joined the project from across Australia stretching from Kalkaringji in the Northern Territory to the Coorong in South Australia. The project is ongoing with the collection of more stories and feet along the way.

For more information about the project visit

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