Two site specific installations
Port Arthur Project, Ten Days on the Island, 2007
Curated by Noel Frankham
Lead, table, lead stool, glass, steel, vinyl text, ink, 1962 edition of Henry Savery's Quintus Servinton, sound track (voice of Jeff Blake)
Separate Prison Chapel, Port Arthur and
Isle of the Dead, Port Arthur, Tasmania
Image of performance: Rebecca Tudor
Other Images: Brigita Ozolins
The truth shall make you free 2007
This is a two part installation and performance that aims to retrospectively free the soul of Australia's first novelist, Henry Savery, who was transported to Van Diemen's land for forgery in 1825 and is buried on Port Arthur's Isle of the Dead. The quote The truth shall make you free (John 8:32) references the liberating power of revelation while the use of lead, which covers the chair and stool, recalls the mysticism and transformative powers of alchemy and its claim to convert base metal into gold.
A daily writing performance was carried out in Port Arthur's Separate Prison Chapel. For 2 hours a day, for ten days, I sat at the lead table and systematically wrote the words The truth shall make you free over the pages of a 1964 edition of Quintus Servinton, Henry Savery's largely autobiographical novel. Each overwritten page was torn from the book and dropped to the floor, metaphorically releasing Savery from the bindings of his tragic past. The work was accompanied by a continuous recording of excerpts from the novel.
An accompanying installation was sited on the Isle of the Dead, in front of Savery's memorial. It consisted of lead text buried into the ground, that spells out the words The truth shall make you free.
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This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.