Walking in Merri Circles



walking art, Merri Creek, COVID-19 lockdown, vegetal being, BioArt, Michael Marder, multispecies entanglement, weeds, ecological forgetting, Batman’s Treaty, video art


The weight of planetary problems is distressing, and the forgetting seems to have multiplied when I wasn’t looking. In late 2020, whilst a global pandemic is also multiplying with disastrous and tragic consequences, I get my mask on. I make sure my shoelaces are tied and tell my children who are studying remotely, or streaming with screens blazing unchecked, that I am disappearing for a walk along the Merri Creek. Walking for one hour and now two for exercise, as mandated by the Victorian State Government, has been an activity that propels people out of their houses. Walking has taken on new significance for Melburnians living in COVID-19 lockdown: exercise is a reason to legally leave your house and you are reminded as you put one foot in front of the other that you can walk five kilometres in any direction. Knowing that is a quiet freedom. We are enmeshed and complicit, in the way we are also entangled, unpredictable, clever, complex, stupid and amazing, just like other organisms. Every action has a consequence, no matter how big or small.

Author Biography

Heather Hesterman, RMIT University/University of Tasmania

Heather Hesterman is a multi-disciplinary artist and researcher based in Naarm/ Melbourne investigating the intersections of place, plants and people. Heather works at RMIT University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania exploring how practice-led research might address ‘plant blindness’ by caring and conspiring with plants.

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