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Open Cycle Ecology

After our first night, we woke early, left the Lock-Up and headed out into the morning’s sun.

Before we left Victoria we had a stamp made up to help us publicise our project. This morning we found some old boxes which we set about cutting into small squares. One of us cut, one stamped and one affixed some double-sided tape to the back.

Another thing we did before we left home was to contact Dan the Bike Man from the Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre to organise three bikes for us to use while we are here. So with our advertising propaganda ready we headed off to Dan’s house, the helmets that we brought with us from home, tied to our belts and banging against our legs while we adventured.

We walked and we walked. We filled our backpacks with as much plastic waste as we could carry, and we took turns putting our cards in all the many pockets of this city.

We walked and we walked (it was further than we thought). We sang and we sweated and we practiced social warming with all the locals that we met, some of whom outstretched their arms to embrace us when we told them about our project.

Dan the Bike Man established the bike library three years ago. It is made up of recycled and reclaimed bikes, collected and donated by volunteers and community people. A bike library! Isn’t that just the coolest?!

After we selected our bikes, we were handed spanners and instructions so we could modify them to our individual heights.

That’s James, one of the many generous volunteers on the left, and Dan on the right. (When Dan signs off his emails, he writes, Bike hugs, Dan.)

When you open up the newspaper to see it filled with ads for expensive watches and cars and flat screen TVs, it can make you wonder what on Earth we human beings are saying to convince ourselves that business is OK to carry on as usual.

When you visit a place like the bike library and meet some of the people whose energy goes in to its survival, you really come to understand the full capacity of social warming.

Day One

Greetings from the Artist as Family!

After a tour of our accommodation and the Lock-Up Cultural Centre we took to the streets. And after coming across this street-side line-up of herbs we were feeling very positive about our adoptive city.


All morning, Zeph kept asking, ‘When are we going to the beach?’ So. Our first stop: the beach. He hadn’t even been on the sand five minutes and he had collected this handful of discarded plastic. If you were to look out across the beach, you would think it was pretty clean, but take a closer look and you might find this amount in any two metre radius.

Waste proliferates along every coastline the world over. But it’s obvious not everybody is happy about this.