the foul of the air
Girls. Women. Led one by one into an abandoned building.
Water drips from above.
Faces unseen but for items of clothing, distinct, descriptive and dank with sweat.
Men become restless. Others turn away. The rest is up to your imagination
the foul of the air is inspired by Charlotte Wood’s novel ‘The Natural Way of Things’. Using the images she creates through language, St Anne links these back to girls and women in our recent history to open up a conversation about the complicit nature of violence.
The audience is led in as the sun floats down behind the adjoining park – this creates Giacometti-like shadows along the verandah. The audience are seated on rafts and assigned a steward. The doors roll closed.
The rows of steps create a corridor for the murder of mourners – the audience asked to gesture – they twist and turn as they enter the building in heavy black gowns. These are the mothers, the aunts and the grandmothers: those who have subconsciously averted their attention when things ‘weren’t quite right.’
Dark falls inside, and the girls, the women, are led in one by one, clutching at an object of comfort. Henson faces full of promise and uncertainty.
Doorways house the two male carers, caught between right and wrong. In the storerooms they wait abated. The slatted half walls littered with children’s soiled underwear are revealed only by passing light.
‘Can I really stop this from happening?’
The only way to escape (as the child does) is to close your eyes, cover your ears and hum.
Thursday 4 - Saturday 6 October 2018 | 8.00pm
East Sydney Community and Arts Centre