Down a laneway of imagination to another time

A WARRNAMBOOL laneway became a window to a parallel universe on Saturday, giving visitors an insight into what Australia would have been like if it had been discovered by the Portuguese.

Using the myth of the Mahogany Ship as a springboard, a group of artists presented Viva New Portugal as the latest instalment in F Project’s series of laneway festivals.

Co-organiser Geoff Rollinson said more than 200 people took the stroll down the Whalers-Wines Patisserie laneway off Timor Street to learn more about the fictitious alternate history.

With guides including people dressed as “the spirit of the Mahogany Ship”, former Warrnambool residents  and a kangaroo, visitors to the laneway were taken through a “what if” version of our country’s past, depicted through music, art, fiction and poetry.

“The responses ... were very good,” Mr Rollinson said. “People had a good laugh.”

Fishtales and Wines Patisserie sold Portuguese food, enjoyed in a makeshift “piazza” area, with music by duo Grimshaw Miller, Mr Rollinson said.

There was also a fashion parade, as people were encouraged to come dressed in Portuguese or Brazilian-themed clothing.

One of the artworks will stay on display in the laneway.

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