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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Mountain Tales begins Bathurst Winter Festival


Saturday 2 July, Bathurst Winter Festival.  Community lantern making, a procession, screening of new work, stoytelling. A project supported by Arts OutWest.

Bathurst Winter Festival begins with a beutiful community collaboration and the showing on new work created as part of the wider Fast Cars and Dirty Beats project.

In addition to the event in Kings Parade, head to @tremainsmill and immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Bathurst. Mountain Tales – A magical, immersive event where unexpected local tales of belonging and beauty about Whaluu/Mount Panorama are shared around the campfire and under the stars. Join the lantern parade, groove along to the Fast Cars drummers, watch the DIY Film Festival, listen to live music and enjoy food and wine served up by Smoking Brothers, The Original Fairy Floss Company and @renzagliawines.
The event will also showcase a stunning collaborative digital artwork by local artist Nicole Welch], Wiradyuri Elder @wirribee21, @katesmithyoga and Henry-Denyer Simmons.
This event is supported by a Regional Arts Fund Accelerator Grant + Arts Out West and Local Stages at BMEC.
MouNtain Tales

The event begins with a Lantern Procession at Tremain’s Mill in which participants who have hand crafted their beacons of fire march together to illuminating the darkness of a Bathurst winter’s night. This light procession is accompanied by Fast Cars Drummers whose earthbound sounds anchor the aerial rays of light. The power of sound, and moreover the rhythm of a drum, is evocative of our heartbeats reminding us of our collective mortality. The singular sound of a drumbeat is also emboldening as it externalises the invisible realm of our communal heart.

Then there will be a screening of the film ‘Wiradyuri Ngayirr Ngarambang – Sacred Country’  beamed upon the architectural site of Tremain’s Mill. Participants and spectators with be directed to a QR code to listen to the English translation of the Wiradyuri language featured in the artwork. A webpage with videos and your thoughts on the film — one which meditates upon the experience of Sacred Country — can be recorded. What will be evoked is the importance of silence as there is great silence around some stories …

There will then be a sharing of stories. Two speakers will narrate their experience, reminding us that storytelling was originally an acoustic practise. Alice Blackwood will recite a poem — not all stories are prose-like but are poetic forms reminding us that the origins of all languages are grounded in the world of song. Everyone is then invited to eat and drink and share their stories informally around the fire, whether it be through a song, poem, or an anecdote.

The ’Mountain Tales at Bathurst Winter Festival’ event celebrates the sound, imagery, taste, smell of collective experience and the binding powers of storytelling. In light of the rise of digital technologies, narrative often becomes a fragmented and individualised phenomenon; here we wish to honour the idea of storytelling as a binding social force. The ’Mountain Tales at Bathurst Winter Festival’ event is a reminder of the tactile and physical power of collective narrativity in which stories are shared and commemorated. It also encourages one to reflect upon the fact that we all live in a multi-cultural society and a township that has a rich history of memory and forgetting. This live event offers you with an opportunity to be both a spectator to and participant in storytelling — you are all invited to partake in the light, sound, food, and festivities.

Wiradyuri Ngayirr Ngurambang – Sacred Country
IMAGE: ‘Wiradyuri Ngayirr Ngurambang – Sacred Country’ 2022 (detail). Nicole Welch, Wiradyuri Elder Wirribee Leanna Carr-Smith, & Kate Smith.
An immersive moving image work exploring Wiradyuri Ngurambang Ngayirr. Wiradyuri Elder Wirribee shares part of the narrative of Custodianship of Country, collaboratively working with local Artist Nicole Welch’s work that is linked to care-taking the environment. This work explores shared understandings between First Nation and Non-First Nation women. Connecting to the landscape from Tarana along the Wambuul/Macquarie River to Wahluu/Mt. Panorama offering a space for contemplation toward a healing of people, community, place,and shared stories.
LANTERN WORKSHOP + PROCESSION: invite to participate
Bathurst Winter Festival
Saturday July 2nd
Workshop 12 – 4pm – BMEC
Procession 6.30 – 7.30pm – Tremains’ Mill
Learn how to make beautiful, awe-spiring lanterns and giant puppets in one afternoon with the amazing Phil Relf and Ikara Celebratory Events.
Join the LANTERN PARADE with your hand-made lantern at Tremain’s Mills as part of Bathurst’s Winter Festival after the workshop and light up the night!
FREE event. ALL ages welcome.
No experience necessary.
Contact: or 6333 6161


CREDIT: Mountain Tales text by Dr Suzie Gibson, Senior Lecturer in English, Charles Sturt University