Sculptures Bring 'Herstory' to Life

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The silenced voice of women and children transported to Van Diemen's Land has been unlocked through a poignant sculptural installation recently unveiled near Macq01 hotel in Hobart's Hunter Street.

The initiative of a small group of passionate Tasmanians, footsteps is a work of art five years in the making. Businessman John Kelly, Urban Designer Carole Edwards, Emeritus Professor of English Lucy Frost and Cultural Heritage Consultant Carole Edwards, worked tirelessly to bring this vision to life.

The sculptures of three convict women and a young child are 'inspired by the extraordinary lives of common women and children born into circumstances that found them at the centre of building a new nation'.

The siting of the installation reconnects this story of international significance to the 'very ground that the women and children walked as they reached their destination and stepped forward into a life unknown'.

Crafted by renowned Irish artist Rowan Gillespie, each figure has a story: the young and healthy woman who might have a better life under sentence in Van Diemen's Land than in a prison at home; the grieving woman compelled to leave behind forever her children; the woman who give birth on board the sailing ship; and the young boy separated from his mother with no idea what will happen to him.

The project was supported by hundreds of contributors including major sponsorship from the Vos Family Foundation, the Hobart City Council, the Sisters of Charity and Ms Ros Escott and John Coates.  The Tasmanian Government contribution through the Community Infrastructure Fund assisted with the installation and lighting of the sculptures.

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