2020 Peel Street Park Projection Program

Monday 27 April 2020 - Sunday 21 February 2021

Image: Arini Byng, (indistinct chatter), 2018, single-channel video, 12mins 58secs

Over the past few years we have been lighting up Peel Street Park in Collingwood with a very popular series of artistic projections over the winter months. The massive, red-brick wall in the park has become a cinematic-screen for large-scale still and moving image artworks and City of Yarra has presented a dynamic series of projections at this site by emerging, mid-career and established artists.

By popular demand the projection program is now screening every night of the year from dusk until late in Peel Street Park (corner of Peel and Little Oxford Streets, Collingwood). To draw locals to the park through lockdown in 2020 we were delighted to present moving-image works by local and interstate artists including: Tania Smith, James Henry, Destiny Deacon + Virginia Fraser, Leila Jeffreys and Arini Byng. Join us in the park again in 2021 for another suite of innovative and exciting works.

27 April to 21 February 2021, every night after dark until midnight.


27 April to 25 May Untitled (pusher) by TANIA SMITH. Watch video.

26 May to 12 July Parkies of Old Fitzroy by JAMES HENRY

13 July to 13 September Forced into Images by DESTINY DEACON & VIRGINIA FRASER

19 October to 7 December Nature is Not a Place to Visit. It is Home by LEILA JEFFREYS

8 December to 21February 2021, (indistinct chatter) by ARINI BYNG

(indistinct chatter) BY ARINI BYNG

(indistinct chatter) is an intimate and personal work with only my father and myself on screen, in an improvised duet. We negotiate with each other's limbs, vulnerably and tenderly but also with the subtle tensions inherent in the discovery and exploration of cultural and familial themes. 

The introduced objects serve as personal and historical markers, signifying my fathers experience growing up working-class in the American northeast in the '50s and '60s. They address not only this Black American history, but also the personal histories of children from divorced households anywhere - exploring the possibilities, problems and potentialities of reconstructing relationships with an absentee parent. 

Snow-white budgerigars, wings flapping joyfully, glide through the air to alight on the surface of a burnt, black tree. A sun-yellow flock flies across a triptych with liquid grace, airborne bodies recalling falling leaves. As the music grows slower, more plaintive, the camera focuses in on a bird. It shakes its head from side to side, feathers rippling in the breeze. The subject is unmistakably avian, but the gesture is pure human. The bird’s life and our life are connected, shaped by shared cycles of loss, grief and renewal. Its home among the trees is the place we belong, too.

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home (2019) is a three-channel video work that marks a radical shift for Leila Jeffreys. The work, among Jeffreys’ most ambitious and technically demanding, represents a change in direction for the artist. It’s a pivot away from the intimate portraits of birds that have defined the first ten years of her practice and towards the symbiotic relationship that exists between birds and their habitat. The work also draws a parallel between the bonds that exist between humans, the way actions can shape collective behaviour and the intimate dynamics of the flock. 

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. shares a lineage with Japanese artists of the 16th and 17th century, whose exquisite Byōbu folding screens celebrated the connection between culture and nature. But at its heart it’s a love letter to the Australian bush. Its portrayal of the fleeting and precious nature of our ecosystem, the complex connections that exist between animals and their environment also foreshadowed Australia’s bushfires, which have claimed the lives of more than one billion native birds, mammals and reptiles. The work has taken on the mood of an elegy. But it’s also an ode to beauty, a call towards encountering the wonder of the natural world and its power to inspire individual gestures of protection. These actions might be small but have a cumulative impact. They can help us sustain hope. 

In her 1955 book The Sense of Wonder, the writer and conservationist Rachel Carson made a case for paying attention to nature. She urged us to ask ourselves: “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” Nature is not a place to visit. It is home. delves deeper into Jeffrey’s long-time belief that to see ourselves as part of a world that nurtures both the human and the non-human, to pay attention to the flying creatures around us, is a form of love. And once we acknowledge the force of that love, we have no choice but to do everything we can to conserve it.

Forced into Images is a video work by Destiny Deacon & Virginia Fraser. The two four-year olds in this video are cousins, Inyaka Saunders and Elia Harding, the children of two of Destiny’s siblings. They were like brother and sister themselves when the video was shot, and the artists minded them often from when they were babies.  

They were very used to us when they let themselves be filmed. The idea in the first place was to see how long they could sit still in front of the camera (not long as it turned out).

The original footage was shot on Super 8 film at Destiny’s sister’s place in Thornbury and edited and finished on digital video.

This little domestic portrait has done a lot of travelling including round Australia, to New Zealand, New Caledonia, the first Yokohama Triennale, Japan, and Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany.

This compelling video work weaves together images from a large suite of black and white photographs made by James Henry in 2019. Celebrating the local mob known as ‘Parkies’, this intimate series of portraits is projected at a momentous scale onto a massive red brick wall in a small, but very popular, park just behind Smith Street in Collingwood.

Fitzroy, Collingwood and surrounding areas are historically significant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. It is a meeting place; the cradle of Aboriginal affairs; the heart of social and political activism; the birthplace of important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services and organisations; and the place where many Stolen Generations found family for the first time. People came to Fitzroy to connect with community, they gathered around Atherton Gardens, a place that came to be known as ‘the park’. Those who regularly occupied the parks came to refer to themselves as the ‘Parkies’. For a long time they have gathered in locations around Fitzroy and Collingwood. This is their meeting place; they come here to share what they have, to feel connected and to tell a story or play a song.

Untitled (pusher) is a short, tragicomic video work. A harried woman in a bright red dress and stilettos bounds across a stadium pushing an empty stroller. The reason for her sense of urgency is unclear. Untitled (pusher) is a wry take on parenting, anxiety, navigating public space, and all of these things mixed together. 

Tania Smith is a performance artist with a multi-disciplinary practice incorporating live performance, photography, video and costume. Her videos are mostly playful, performative interventions in public space. Themes in her practice include the comic anti-hero, domestic labour and care work, drudgery and absurdist humour.  


Peel Street Park


Date and time:
After dark - Midnight
Monday 27 April 2020 - Sunday 21 February 2021

Corner of Peel and Little Oxford Streets