Fremantle Biennale, SIGNALS 2023

Close to the submerged remnants of the Fremantle Long Jetty, an immersive re-telling of arrival and separation will unfold.

So once you were here they had you is an experiential audio-visual poem to the 50 young cotton-weaver women who arrived on the shores of Walyalup, journeying by ship from Lancashire over 110 days and nights in 1863. Created by electronic music composer Rebecca Riggs-Bennett and video artist Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson, this work takes place across Bathers Beach, re-tracing the steps of the women and the many others of the “Bride Ship” era.

So once you were here they had you is a reflective honouring of the time swept experiences of these women. Cross with us into an immersive, at times ghostly, real and imagined narrative of migration, loss and departure.

Original research, dramaturgy & collaboration: Rachel Riggs
Animator: Jarrad Russell
Dramaturgy & Co-Designer: Rachel Riggs
Narration: Angeliki Georga & Phoebe Georga
Featuring poetry of the Lancashire cotton famine (1861-1865) by University of Exeter and audio recordings by Catherine Hill and Helmshore Mill.