What's On


Jen Rae and Giant Grass

Presented in Season 2 2019

Presented by Arts House
as part of
Refuge 2019: Displacement

Sat 24 Aug – Sat 7 Sep, various times
See each event for dates, times and booking details

Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

See each event page for details

Portage is a two-year project by Jen Rae in collaboration with architectural designers Mittul Vahanvati and Munir Vahanvati (Giant Grass) and six intercultural master weavers and local communities. It unearths overlooked skills, knowledge and values that might offer salvation in the years ahead.

‘Portage’ is the act of carrying a boat and its cargo between navigable waters. To portage is to work together – to secure your belongings to your body and to carry your vessel over land in unison to the next destination.

What are the skills and knowledge that will be the most coveted as the climate emergency begins to impact our local communities? Who will we turn to for help?  Will it be those who can grow their own food, know first-aid, or can navigate by the stars? Or will it be those who know how to collaborate and connect within our communities?

Portage is a call to mobilise, collaborate and arrive at purpose.

The 2019 program includes a series of workshops, installations and walks.

Portage: Raft Workshop
Sat 24 – Wed 28 Aug, 9am

Portage: Flotilla
Sat 31 Aug – Sat 7 Sep, from 12pm

Portage: Shelter – Weavers Walk
Sat 31 Aug, 10.30am

Portage: Shelter – Weaving Workshop
Sat 31 Aug, 1pm

Lead artist: Jen Rae, Mittul Vahanvati and Munir Vahanvati, Giant Grass
Master weavers: Vicki Kinai, Bronwyn Razem, Dr Vicki Couzens, Kirsten Lyttle, Abshiro Hussein, Muhubo Sulieman
Sound design: Marco Cher-Gibard
Workshop Producer: Naomi Velaphi

Supported by – This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and supported by The Venny; Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre; North Melbourne Language and Learning; Kensington Neighbourhood House; Museums Victoria; and the City of Melbourne through the Park Rangers – Parks, Property and Waterway, and Arts House

Image by – Jen Rae