The Explorers

An interrogation of Australian colonialism and the cult of the explorer

To reconsider and re-frame Australian historic 'heroic' archetypes

The Explorers

This work investigates from a contemporary feminist aesthetic how we can interpret and contribute to the process of decolonisation in Australia. To adopt a modality of 'exploration' to reconsider our his-stories/her-stories through a hybridity of dance, theatre, performance, sound and film re-framed and embodied by women performance makers through a post-colonial lens.

The concept and themes for this work are part of a personal vision by Director Sally Richardson to explore a re-framing of female identity in relationship to Australian colonial and post-colonial theories of power and place. A contemporary Gothic sensibility invades the work allowing us to explore representations of the traumatic, to 'speak (of) the unspeakable'.

Source material includes the critical readings and representations of selected fictional and non-fictional figures drawn from diverse artists including; Patrick White, David Malouf, Sidney Nolan, Leah Shelton, Rosemary Laing, Tracy Moffat and Fiona Foley. We also directly and in-directly reference Australian women who have experienced various forms of sexism, misogyny, vilification and trial by media. Fictional and non-fictional candidates here include Eliza Fraser (Fringe of Leaves), Laura Tregonning (VOSS), Lindy Chamberlain amongst others.

Absence, presence, isolation, invisibility and anonymity....haunted by things unseen, uncovering Australian colonial (and post-colonial) histories probing for gaps, silences, absences and lies. Drawing on the lives and experiences of women, often anonymous, and giving a voice to the lost, the unseen or those whose story has been distorted and re-constructed by others.

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Images: Gibson Nolte, Sally Richardson, David Cox Media

Creative Team:



  • As VOSS for MICROMOVE for Summer Nights at the Blue Room Theatre FRINGEWORLD 2018
  • As Flesh & Bones - PICA/pvi collective KISS CLUB 2018
  • Creative Development: St Georges Cathedral (Septimus & Louisa Burtt residency) 2018


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Blue of Distance

歸屬 GUI SHU (Belong)


Steamworks Arts acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this country across Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past, present and emerging.

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