GHOST QUARTERS – first dream of The Opium Confessions

A new De Quincey Co piece is a rare gift... it's a privilege to experience.

Deborah Jones, The Australian

dance Tess de Quincey
script Jane Goodall
vocals Amanda Stewart
video Samuel James
sound Ian Stevenson
lighting Travis Hodgson

Welcome to The Faculty of Dreaming where the brain is haunted ghosts write secret inscriptions on the mind  language runs riot thought spreads into wide open spaces and the houseless vagrant walks all night. Someone is out there with murderous intent, but the horrors are all inside.

From the writings of the great poet and essayist Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), GHOST QUARTERS unleashes visions that show us the world as a larger reality, a place of vastness and uncertainty, filled with the changing weathers of the psyche.

As part of the event there will be a forum with different Guest Speakers each evening.


Ghost Quarters was presented 9-16 May 2009 at CarriageWorks as part of ongoing explorations around the literary works of Thomas De Quincey by Tess de Quincey & Jane Goodall with Ian Stevenson, Samuel James, Amanda Stewart & Chris Abrahams.

Ghost Quarters is a performance installation exploring the experience of destitution, addiction and the spatial uncanny.

This work is part of an overarching investigation, The Opium Confessions, exploring new approaches to the artistic communication of sensory and emotional states. This body of work is initiated by writer Jane Goodall and performer Tess de Quincey in partnership with sound designer Ian Stevenson and video artist Samuel James. Ghost Quarters includes a collaboration with poet/vocalist Amanda Stewart and composer Chris Abrahams and is produced by De Quincey Co.

The work is inspired by the writings of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859): poet, opium addict, wandering adventurer, genius of the imagination. Ghost Quarters focuses on how human beings experience interior and exterior space. During his teenage years, De Quincey ran away from school and lived rough in the Welsh and English countryside for many months as he made his way to London on foot. This experience of destitution gave him an estranged relationship to interior space, and a fascination with architecture as wilderness. It also led him to addiction and hallucination.

Ghost Quarters draws on his post-traumatic visions to experiment with uncanny spatial relationships for a contemporary audience. Now, the home as a primary symbol of domestic and economic security is at risk and increasing numbers of people experience the anxiety states associated with homelessness. Yet these states can also teach us to know the world as a larger reality, a place of vastness and uncertainty, in which changing weathers are the governors of daily life.

Performance Space Residency 2007
Involved explorations around the literary works of Thomas De Quincey by Tess de Quincey & Jane Goodall with Samuel James, Amanda Stewart & Chris Abrahams


The Opium Confessions was the first stage of creative development for a new performance and media work. The exploration centres around the figure of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) whose literary reputation is based primarily on two works, The Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) and On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, an essay written in 1827. These will form the backbone for a series of new performance works.


Previous Season Details

9-16 May, 2009
Wednesday – Saturday @ 8pm

Track 12
254 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
Entry by voluntary donation