- Operations Director: Madelynne Cornish
- Artistic Director: Philip Samartzis
- Design + Development: Public Office
- Typeset in Inglewood by Vincent Chan
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The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture is a remote-regional cultural initiative situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Established by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish the Centre supports projects focusing on the processes and impacts of sustainable energy production; effects of climate change in wilderness areas; ethnographic studies of remote communities; the chronicling of vanishing industrial procedures; and systems of representation used to render natural and built environments.
Additionally, the BCSC facilitates a broad cultural program comprising, festivals, exhibitions, publications, master classes and artists’ talks focusing on site-specific art practices. These programs establish a connection with place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory. They engage a wide range of audiences, bringing together local, interstate and international artists across multiple disciplines and fields to realise ambitious works.
The BCSC is situated at the newly restored old school at Bogong Alpine Village located 350 kilometres from Melbourne in North East Victoria.
About Bogong Village
Bogong Alpine Village is 325 kilometres North-East of Melbourne situated at an altitude of 800 meters in the Alpine National Park between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek. The village was established in the late 1930s to service the first hydroelectric scheme in mainland Australia. More recently it has become a popular site for alpine sports, recreation and ecotourism. Click here for directions.
A Short History
Work on the Kiewa Scheme commenced in 1938 with the construction of a road from Tawonga to the High Plains. Previously the only access was by foot or horseback along tracks that had been forged by cattlemen of a bygone era. Bogong Village was established once the road from Junction Camp was trafficable (March 1939); this paved the way for the construction of permanent buildings. Prior to that life was tough; large canvas tents and flies were used for sleeping quarters and smaller tents were set up to house the kitchens. By 1940 Bogong Township had grown considerably with a general store, staff offices, recreational mess, police station, and a variety of accommodation such as single men’s quarters and residences for married staff and families.
Bogong State School
In 1941 the Primary School at Bogong Village enrolled its first intake of students comprising nine pupils. Initially the school consisted of a large classroom, storeroom and boys and girls toilets. Extensions were carried out in 1944, which expanded the capabilities of the school. A library, storeroom, pupil’s lunchroom and shelter shed were added and rock gardens were established. By 1947 the number of students had grown to 46 all of whom were children of local SEC workers. Over the years class sizes fluctuated and the building remained unchanged. In 1980 it ceased to operate as a school and sat idle, eventually falling into disrepair. In 2004 it was sold along with many other buildings in the village.
Madelynne Cornish and Philip Samartzis bought the Old School and set about restoring it to its former glory. The rotting weatherboards and floorboards, smashed windows and flaking paint are now a distant memory. The newly refurbished building occupies it’s original footprint and bares a strong resemblance to it’s former self. Although the internals have been modernized remnants of it’s past history remain. The Old School once played a significant role in the fabric of village life. It inspired the community and helped shape the minds of those who studied there. It is our intention as custodians that the School once again functions as a place of inspiration.
Reference: Kiewa Kids School Days at Bogong & Mount Beauty by Graham Gardner
ISBN 0-646-36226-7. Published 1998
- Atticus Bastow
- Matthew Berka
- Peter Blamey
- Elise Bonato
- Sharyn Brand
- Katharina Brauer
- Ben Byrne
- Christophe Charles
- Madelynne Cornish
- Melissa Deerson
- Lesley Duxbury
- Sarah Edwards
- Kylie Esler
- Aidan Kelly
- Daniel Lercher
- Willy Merz
- Harry Nankin
- Overtone Ensemble
- Charinthorn Rachurutchata
- Geoff Robinson
- Philip Samartzis
- Gabi Schaffner
- Jacqui Shelton
- Utako Shindo
- Erin K Taylor
- Diego Terros
- Michael Vorfeld
- Bryden Williams
- Kim Lane and the students of Mt Beauty Secondary College
PHANTASMAGORIA is a free site responsive festival located at Bogong Village
Curated by Madelynne Cornish & Philip Samartzis, PHANTASMAGORIA re-imagines Bogong Village through the lens of absence, disappearance and loss. This site responsive festival uses contemporary art practices to create illusion and spectacle in order to trace the vanishing individuals and communities that have marked the alpine region. It draws on local knowledge, historical documentation, artefacts, dreamtime stories and folklore to help construct a social context and landscape ecology for artworks focusing on the ephemeral, evanescent and sublime. Where the village itself is transformed into a world of shadows, murmurs and dreams.
Featured artworks include, video and sound works, installations, interactive artworks, site responsive performances, and an immersive sound garden comprising commissioned compositions.
Opening Weekend PROGRAM
Opening Friday 7 April (8pm onwards)
Saturday 8 April [10am onwards]
Sunday 9 April [9am onwards]
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April
Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April
Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April
Bogong Alpine Village
Bogong High Plains Road, Bogong
Bogong Village when booking quote BCSC14
A Brief History
Bogong Village is 325 kilometres north-east of Melbourne in Victoria’s High Country, situated at an altitude of 800 meters in Alpine National Park between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek.
The village takes its name from Mount Bogong, which towers above the Kiewa Valley and the High Plains. The area is of great significance to both locals and traditional owners. For the Aboriginal people the region holds great spiritual significance, as they believe that the landscape was created by their ancestors. The mountains and other features of the topography and fauna are part of a cultural landscape of stories, language and travel routes.
In the Indigenous Waywurru and Dhudhuroa languages, Mount Bogong is named Warkwoolowler, meaning ‘the mountain where people collected the Bogong moth’. Additionally, in the Dhudhuroa language the word Bugung means ‘brown moth’. Throughout the many seasons, Indigenous groups crossed tribal boundaries and travelled hundreds of kilometres to meet on the highest peaks of the alpine region. They came from as far away as the coast and south-west slopes of the mountains for intertribal corroborees, settling of disputes, trading, marriages, the initiation of young men and to feast on the Bogong moths.
The advent of squatters looking for land with agricultural potential in the mid to late 1830’s heralded the rapid and total displacement of Aboriginal people from the valleys and mountains. Routes once travelled by the Aboriginals became cattle routes for drovers taking stock onto the High Plains for summer grazing, or to access the mountains.
The indigenous landscape and culture were invisible to many settlers. Mountain Dreamtime stories were replaced by colonial folklore that celebrated pastoral traditions. The tales that echoed across the valleys and High Plains were now of cattle rustlers, wild horses, and the stock routes that criss-crossed the Alps. The heroic deeds of cattlemen in a formidable landscape became immortalised, and new legends arose.
Located at the confluence of the Rocky and Pretty Valley branches of the East Kiewa River, the area now known, as Bogong Village was initially a strip of dense bushland wedged between two mountains. The only tangible evidence of colonial intervention was a stable located upstream, and a packhorse trail that was used to transport supplies from the valley to surveyors and diamond drillers working in remote areas of the alpine region.
Bogong Village was established in 1939 as field headquarters for the Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme. In the 1940s, it was a thriving town with facilities to support 300 workers and their families. Over ensuing decades, the town’s dynamics shifted from an industrial hub to a holiday destination for State Electricity workers. By the late 1990s, the leasehold had passed into private hands. Today, Bogong is a remote community comprising of a few permanent residents and limited infrastructure, with its primary use being seasonal holiday accommodation.