Ephemeral at Panboola

Panboola wetland engages a new and diverse audience through 'Ephemeral' - a one day festival of art inspired by nature.

Ephemeral at Panboola

Panboola wetland engages a new and diverse audience through 'Ephemeral' - a one day festival of art inspired by nature.

Reaching Out -


The issue

Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project's challenge was to increase the number and diversity of people connecting with, volunteering, and valuing 'Pamboola' their local wetlands.   

The people behind this project wanted to engage the community in a way that could cultivate understanding, ownership, a sense of fun, and ultimately a desire to be more involved.


The solution

We were inspired by visual artist, Shona Wilson, who believes - "For healthy humans and healthy environments we need to directly re-engage with the natural environment with our hands eyes, ears – all of our senses. Without interacting with nature how do we have the capacity to know it, love it or care for it"  

In April 2017 Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project Inc collaborated with the Lonely Arts Club Pambula to present 'Ephemeral' – a one day festival celebrating the ephemeral landscape of Panboola wetlands and the creativity it inspires.

Ephemeral invited a different user group to the wetlands and encouraged direct engagement with the natural environment.  It conveyed our conservation message in a somewhat subtler and more celebratory manner than the traditional ‘tree planting’ or ‘weed control’ activities.

The program for the day consisted of art demonstrations, creative workshops, roving musicians and a photography exhibition.  There was a focus on attracting younger participants: with a series of workshops for youth around ephemeral art, natural mandala creation and construction of grass sculptures.  

The result was a plethora of works and interesting things to look at, listen to and participate in; all relating to and inspired by the flora, fauna and landscape of Panboola.

The impact

We were pleasantly surprised by the number of people, and in particular families, that visited on the day.  It was very rewarding to help provide an opportunity for our community to connect in a creative, relaxed and open way.  And Panboola recruited new volunteers from a younger demographic!!

We plan that each year the festival will evolve organically with the purpose of engaging the community and encouraging people to develop an appreciation of the site in ways that complements the conservation values of the Pambula Wetlands and Heritage Project.

Key facts

  • Funding was through grants offered by the Bega Valley Shire Council for Youth Week and Seniors Festival activities.
  • All of the artists on the day donated their time. We envisage that for the festival to grow into the future we will need to source funds that will allow us to appropriately remunerate our local artists.

Project Partners