PARA PARRA* (working title)


*para meaning: at or to one side of, beside, side by side, beyond, past, by, beside, closely related, closely resembling, beyond, abnormal, faulty.

A site-specific event in the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct

dancers:  Victoria Hunt, Linda Luke and Tess de Quincey
vocals & sound: Sonya Holowell
lighting installation:  Sian James-Holland

In 2020 and 2021 De Quincey Co is working in partnership with Parra Girls to develop a site-specific performance work in the Parramatta Female Factory Precinct located on the upper reaches of the Parramatta River on the traditional lands of Darug Burramattagal people. The precinct has been an institutional site since 1821 also repurposed as a lunatic asylum, an orphan school and a girls home, and has particular significance for the Forgotten Australians and the Stolen Generations as the birthplace of interventionist welfare policy with the first forced removal of children from their mothers introduced in 1826.

This is a calling to the spaces of history that reverberate through the place; an inhabitation, an absorption that opens doors through time. From the history that lives in the ancient Bunya trees that are a relic of the Jurassic period, to the specific marks that call our attention to a person who scratched their name, defying incarceration and punishment; from the water that flows parallel to the wall of confinement calling escape, to the brick mortar made of the hair of convict women; from the birthing space beyond the wall and the bats that protect the space awaiting the return of the women, to the rubbings and the ghosts and the riots that punctuated internment; from a place of punishment to a place of healing and sharing, a place to celebrate 60,000 years Darug land, and to trace lineage and intergenerational exchange to welcome a National Women’s Art & Cultural Centre – WACC. This is a pilgrimage into sensitivities, to touch and be touched by the meeting of salt-water and fresh-water – to be held captive in Australia’s first ‘site of conscience’.



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