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Claire Davenhall | LOST SOLES: Sent Beyond The Sea

Location Convent Gallery
From Saturday 12 September 2020 -  10:00am
To Sunday 18 October 2020 - 04:00pm

Saturday 12 September 2020   10:00am

Claire Davenhall is an international artist who explores the early migration of people to Australia through her sculptural work, capturing the lost soles from convict women from the first and second fleets. This work aims to provide historical identity to those lost souls, condemned to transportation, sentenced to land beyond the sea.

Her sculptural installation on the floor the Convent Gallery comprises of 108 convict soles taken from the shoes of the convict women of the first fleet on-board the Lady Penrhyn Ship in 1788. Folklore suggested the broad arrow was stamped on the sole of each convict shoe, so if they ran away, they could see which direction they were heading. There was no right or left shoe and you were considered lucky if you had two! Cast in resin they are finished with a green & gold colour changing pigment to represent the national colours of Australia and their final resting place.

Above, float prayer flags from 200 convict women from the second fleet, on-board the Lady Julian Ship in 1789. Made from remnants of white cloth, (evidence from their crime), identical in shape and size of ladies handkerchiefs complete with embroidered identity markings, they symbolize the tears and fear of their fate, held together and intertwined with black handmade rope, like prayer flags they drift across the room in waves representing the daunting width and depth of the sea.

The sea with all its calm and hardships, quietly observes these inhuman amounts of people boarding boats, their lost souls, drifting a vessels of hope, travelling across the sea in their search to reach a land of hope and dreams. The first migration is the bond that ties our cultural heritage together, bringing a sense of people and place through art.



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