New CBD public art intervention reveals Elizabeth St’s hidden waterway

New CBD public art intervention reveals Elizabeth St’s hidden waterway
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Buried beneath bustling Elizabeth St lies a hidden waterway, and emerging artist Joy Zhou is hoping to excite and intrigue people about its discovery through a new sound-based public art intervention.

The intervention which will take place across Elizabeth St, Therry St, and Bouverie St, will also pay particular attention to acknowledging the journey the creek has been through on Wurundjeri land.

Coming to Melbourne as an immigrant, Ms Zhou said discovering the city’s history and the underground Williams Creek waterway was “surprising” to hear and the reason she organised the activation.


“I was really hoping to bring awareness to the existence of this unknown and unseen scenery underneath the city landscape which we occupy in everyday life,” she said.


“It will be a temporary public art intervention where details and a QR code will be on the ground for people to discover the urban view of the surroundings of this urbanised creek while listening to the speculative version of the audio I created.”

Ms Zhou’s Creek Chat activation is among one of the 18 recipients of the latest city activation grant round, which has seen more than $800,000 go towards supporting the upcoming events and pop-ups.

The $1.75 million grant program is part of the joint City of Melbourne and Victorian Government’s $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund, and successful grant recipients have received up to $50,000 to support the delivery of their idea.

The council’s city activation portfolio lead Cr Roshena Campbell said the council was doing everything it could “to breathe new life into Melbourne”.

“We know events are driving Melbourne’s recovery, which is why we’re supporting a diverse range of new activations, performances and activities to keep visitors coming back to the city and putting dollars into local traders’ pockets,” Cr Campbell said.

In addition to the Creek Chat which starts August 29, an augmented reality experience of the past and future of Melbourne will also be seen through Remember the Wild.

Queen Victoria Market precinct, Lygon St and Alexandra Gardens will farewell the wintry season with Winter Sessions, and spring will be celebrated with Florals by the Docklands and Bike Valet in Docklands. •

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