Sculpture: The Shape of History

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Internationally acclaimed sculptor and artist Rowan Gillespie has been commissioned to create a very special project – a set of sculptures for Hobart’s waterfront in Tasmania, depicting and honouring the untold story of the Irish female convicts and their children who came to Hobart Town from Ireland.

From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women, together with more than 2,000 children, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land, with countless more perishing during the long and arduous sea journey from Ireland to Tasmania. Many of these women were convicted of minor crimes yet found themselves transported across the world to a harsh and alien colony. In this fascinating documentary, the cameras will follow Gillespie as he visits Hobart to begin his research and immerse himself in the details of the project.

During his time there he will visit the brutal sites these women would have found themselves in after arrival, such as the Sarah island penal station in Macquerie Harbour and the Cascades Female Factory, a bleak workhouse for the newly arrived female convicts.

Using local women and children as models he creates a living link between past and present and reignites emotional and historic ties between Ireland and Tasmania.

Like the Famine memorial in Dublin, these lifelike figures now captivate and intrigue the public and stand as reminders of part of the colonial history of Tasmania.

1 x 60'

Production Company

Moondance Production


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