This project is being developed to commemorate the more than 40,000 men, women and children transported from Ireland to Australia during the 18th and 19th centuries.
The focus for the commemoration is the convict ship Neva, which left Cork for Sydney in January 1835 and sank off King Island, Tasmania in May of the same year. The Neva carried 150 women convicts with 34 children and 9 free women with 21 children on their way to join convict husbands already in Australia. All but six of the women drowned along with 17 of 27 crew and around 95 bodies are reported to be buried along the beach at Disappointment Bay. The Neva was the only ship transporting convicts from Ireland to sink with fatalities - the Hive ran aground on the NSW coast in 1835 with no loss of life.
The project proposes seven acoustic sculptures; one each at the same height as each of the six surviving women and one for the crew. The acoustics have been developed to create a voice-like sound when the wind speed is in excess of 10km/h. A set of sculptures in both Cork and Sydney will create and awareness of space, distance and time, as the visitor is aware of a similar sound happening on the other side the Earth.
The sculptures and the acoustics have been developed using 3d computer software and digital fabrication. Fuse deposit modelling (FDM) was used to build an object in wax directly from computer file, which was then cast in bronze. The full-size prototype was CNC machined in ABS plastic directly form computer file and selective laser sinthering (SLS) was used to develop the early acoustics.
The project has grown from the artwork to included historic research in Sydney, Dublin, London and Hobart and a wide range of original material relating to the Neva has been found. The descendant of survivor Margaret Drury who married Peter Robinson, a surviving crew member have been traced in Australia.