I visited the newest sculpture installation at MACq 01 in Hobart just after it stopped raining which made it even a more powerful, emotive and moving experience. I’ve never been so moved by a sculpture before. I’m sure that the sculpture being women and children contributed to it being so moving for me, and why I connected with it so much, empathizing with, and for, my gender, and the horrors these women and children endured.
The bronze sculptures bring to the forefront the untold stories of impoverished women and children convicts, many from Ireland, who arrived in Hobart Town more than 150 years ago. The sculptures are the work of internationally celebrated Irish artist, Rowan Gillespie. The sculptures took two years to complete and are modelled on descendants of Tasmania’s convicts.
The women were marched off to the Female Factory for some form of assignment, and the children were considered orphans, removed from their mothers and placed in orphanages. The suffering, both physical and emotional, endured by the women and children was enormous and these bronze sculptures commemorates the experiences of these often-forgotten people.
Females’ and children’s sufferings and contributions are so often under-represented and commemorated in public art. I’m so pleased and proud that these beautiful sculptures have been added to our city.
If you visit Hobart, Tasmania, it’s well worth seeing these outdoor works of art.
Take care and thanks for visiting.