It’s Mad March here in Adelaide. We have the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Writers’ Week, beginning of Adelaide Racing Carnival (if you are into horse racing), Adelaide Fringe and Clipsal 500 (car racing).
And this year I got my chance to be part of it – part of The Fringe.
A few months ago, local writers and artists were asked by Tea Tree Gully council to produce works highlighting a local historical park. (See A Trail of Tales at The Fringe.) I knew my short story, Hunted, had been chosen for the website, but had no idea if any of the local artists had been inspired.
UPDATE: 18th February, 2016:
Family and friends were invited to the A Trail of Tales opening ceremony. A quick drive, a short walk and we followed the smell of barb-b-qued sausages. (What is an Australian outdoor event without a sausage sizzle?)
With the official speeches out of the way, we sampled the sausage sizzle and hiked up the hill to see the fairy-land created by the artists. Fellow Spec Fic Chic member, CS Dun’s poem had been chosen for an extended art display. And so was I!
The Trail: Where to go
Follow the sign up the hill, behind Gallery 1588. Scattered around Pine Park are banners – excerpts of the chosen stories and poems with QR codes directing you to the full text online at the main website: www.atrailoftales.com. The art installations reflect local history, legends and nature. Enjoy the dappled shade and gully winds.
Follow the steps down to the steps, from the carpark.
The temperature drops as you near the creek. An ancient gum stands guard against the nearby traffic, fending off the modern world. A banner announces my story and introduces the #HoughtonHowler.
“Alfred squinted into the shadows. A pair of yellow eyes stared back. They blinked. Alfred jumped back, landing on his elbows. A narrow muzzle poked through the foliage. A curled lip revealed long canine teeth. The nose twitched.
The creature stepped forward. Water dripped from its brown fur. Stripes covered its flanks. The breeze shifted. It stank of wet fur and old herbs. Alfred wrinkled his nose. It edged closer and sniffed.
Alfred slipped his hand into his pocket and pulled out a wad of wrinkled brown paper. He peeled away the remaining toffee and held out his hand. The creature sniffed and tilted its head. Its lip relaxed.
The creature froze, lifted its nose and sniffed. “
Stand before the tree and look up.
I was so excited to find my story had inspired one of the artists (and it was interactive!) For those who don’t live in Adelaide, check out the video. (Warning: Spoilers if you intend on visiting the Trail. It is fun to experience it first hand.)
Many thanks to City of Tree Gully and Tea Tree Gully Library and to Connie Berg who organised the writers. Contributors included: Tea Tree Gully Green Army, Gallery 1855, artists from Off the Couch, Tea Tree Studio and Tea Tree Gully Youth, and writers from The Paddock’s Creative Writing Group, Tea Tree Gully Writers’ Group and our very own speculative fiction writers group – Spec Fic Chic.
Thank you to members of the Tea Tree Gully Library who were were supportive – especially Symon and David (Library Historian) who is championing the hashtag #houghtonhowler.
A Trail of Tales is at Pine Park (behind Gallery 1855). 2 Haines Road, Tea Tree Gully. It is suitable for all ages and is open until 29th March.