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Flowing Loops - Walkshop at Valley Reserve

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Event description

Do you love Valley Reserve & Scotchmans Creek? Are you a bird watcher or naturalist? Are you an “active relaxer” who enjoys the outdoors? Are you curious about outdoor public art?

If you say “yes” to any of the above then you’re invited to join free community “walkshops” to explore the outdoor spaces and community knowledge that exists around the natural parks and waterways along the new Suburban Rail Loop East line.

At Valley Reserve Dan Koop is joined by co-host David Sornig, who will together guide attendees through gentle activities that deepen knowledge of place to explore the possibilities of artist-led temporary public art in the area. At Valley Reserve you can expect to meet some new people, have your ears opened to the sounds of the Valley and walk about 1km while doing a little bird watching - bring your own gear or borrow our binoculars!

FLOWING LOOPS ~ LOOPING FLOWS is an outdoor public art work that takes inspiration from the new rail line that will alter the flows of people through our urban landscape. The project will investigate the types of flow that already exist in the region, such as flows of water, exchanges of knowledge and the relationships between human, animal and plant species of the unique catchments of the Mordialloc Creek and KooyongKoot (Gardiners Creek).

We acknowledge Country, land and waterways of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples and pay our respects to the ongoing custodianship of elders, past, present and future.

More information is below or please see our website at 

Checklist to help you prepare and enjoy the walkshop:

To help you have an enjoyable walkshop we have a few quick tips that should help you to anticipate our activities and prepare in a way that suits you best.

  • Dress for the weather - It may be wet or cold and we will be doing some gentle walking so please come prepared for the outdoors. We’ll retreat to undercover seating areas if the weather gets too much!
  • Bring your binoculars and camera - If you have your own binoculars or cameras for bird watching please bring your gear, however we will have spare binoculars on hand so that you can give them a try!
  • Download Naturalist Apps - There are many apps that can help you contribute to citizen science by identifying flora and fauna and recording your sightings (we will also have good old fashioned pencil & paper!) Here are some suggested apps you can download on your home wifi to use out in the field:


    This is an outdoor experience that will engage multiple senses. When booking please advise us of your access requirements and we will endeavour to facilitate universal access to the walkshop. 

    As we move around Valley Reserve the group will move on unpaved surfaces. We anticipate traversing about 2km over the course of the walkshop.

    Your feedback about access requirements will help us to prepare Universally Accessible walkshops in October 2023.

    About the Artists:

    David Sornig is the author of two books. Blue Lake (2018) is a historical, biographical and personal excursion through the former West Melbourne Swamp and the Great Depression-era shanty town, Dudley Flats. Spiel (2009) is a novel about a young architect in Berlin caught in a loop of complicity with sins minor and monumental. Blue Lake was adapted for ABC Radio National’s History Listen and was the winner of a Judges’ Special Prize in the 2019 Victorian Community History Awards.

    David has twice been a finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Literature Writer’s Prize for the essays ‘Jubilee: a hymn for Elsie Williams on Dudley Flats’ (2015) and ‘Thirteen Men at the Sack of Troy’ (2021).

    In 2008 he was a Charles Pick Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and in 2015 was a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellow.

    Dan Koop is an Artist, Curator-Producer & Facilitator living in Narrm / Melbourne who explores public places and curious spaces to bring communities together through temporary public art. 

    Having spent much of his life living near Birrarung-ga on Wurundjeri Country and Narrm-ga on Boon Wurrung Country he is inspired by both fresh and saltwater places, ecologies and various water cultures. Since slowing from jogging to walking pace during the lockdowns of 2020, he belatedly noticed the incredible natural diversity along the suburban Merri Creek and now considers himself an emerging bird nerd.

    Creatively, Dan has made participant engaging projects along and across rivers, at fresh food markets and in hotel rooms, receiving Melbourne Green Room Awards for his works. Professionally, Dan has worked in Curator-Producer teams for Flash Forward (City of Melbourne), Arts Centre Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe, Sydney Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse. Dan is currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University researching Situation, Participation and the Curator-Producer role in temporary public art, joining the curatoriate for Deakin’s Public Art Commission series of works for Front Beach Back Beach around the Mornington Peninsula. He has a Masters of Art (Public Space) from RMIT University and a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University.

    FLOWING LOOPS ~ LOOPING FLOWS is supported by:

    • Suburban Rail Loop - This artistic program has been supported by the Suburban Rail Loop East’s Community Projects Fund. Please see more about the Community Projects Fund here: 
    • Deakin University - Dan Koop is a PhD researcher at Deakin University, exploring the possibilities of Temporary Public Art in urban environments. Please see more about Dan Koop’s research here:
    • With more community groups welcome to support and engage with the program! If you’re connected to a local community group that loves nature or works to enhance your local outdoor spaces, please get in touch here: 

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