Uncovering culture with local creatives

March 26, 2023 BY

Walk and talk: Poet, performer, and artist Megan J Riedl is hosting tours as part of a new initiative called Made of: Ballarat Experiences. Photo: MATT DUNNE

A WALKING tour with a celebrated poet, performer and artist is part of a new initiative exploring Ballarat’s creative culture.

Called Made of: Ballarat Experiences, the events include workshops with Ballarat creatives, ranging from botanical jewellery making to analogue photography.

The program of events have been designed to support local artists and attract tourists for a weekend getaway under the City of Ballarat’s Creative Tourism Experiences Development Program.

Poet and wordsmith, Megan J Riedl is taking participants on a guided creative writing journey.

Riedl’s walking tour visits many of Ballarat’s art installations, galleries, studios, buildings and monuments while she also conducts spoken word performances along the way.

The goal is to help with participants’ ekphrastic writing – or writing which is inspired by art.

“The walking tour is about learning and thinking about how the way we look at the world can transpire into writing, appreciating Ballarat’s unique public art collection and using that to inspire creative writing,” Riedl said.

The group size is kept at a maximum of 12 participants which she said was a deliberate choice.

“I wanted it to be a really intimate experience where people get to see a performance by me and where they feel comfortable in a small group to maybe share what they’ve written,” Riedl said.

“I’m really excited to share the way I look at Ballarat. It’s really exciting and beautiful and there’s so much history there.”

Riedl said she hopes participants are inspired to keep writing and it can give them a unique experience in Ballarat.

“I think it’s a really great initiative because there are so many artists in town doing really interesting things,” she said.

“It’s allowing artists to let people into their creative processes and have a different experience to your regular tourist experience in Ballarat.”

Riedl is a celebrated artist who won the 2021 Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation In Spoken Word for her piece Single White Female.

She was also a Victorian finalist three times at the Australian Poetry Slam.