Zierle & Carter

Between Lands and Longings
Performance and video screening and talk 17th April
Video shown 17th-27th April,2014


'Between Lands: A Sense of Belonging Enquiry' began in 2012 with an Arts Council England grant for a six weeks research and development residency in Australia. This research trip marked the launch of their latest enquiry into sense of belonging and specifically investigated facets and expressions of cultural identity and belonging through the lens and context of Australia. Working in the community, Zierle & Carter connected with various people from different ethnic backgrounds through discussions and informal interviews, exploring the intricacies of Australia’s native people and the long history of migrant settlers and refugees, bringing to question notions of ‘home’ and sense of belonging.

Beginning in Melbourne in residence with Chamber Made Opera, the project’s main focus began with research into the Cornish migrants from Southwest England, who settled in the 1840s at the time of the gold rush and now make up one of the largest ethnic groups in Southern Australia. In addition, their enquiry also investigated the sense of belonging of Australian indigenous people, as well as that of ‘the lost children of the Empire’, who over decades were sent from the UK to Australia.

After returning from their research trip, the artists collated, edited, explored and experimented with the research gathered and created their version of a 'Living Room Opera' for Chamber Made Opera's ongoing series.

Between Lands and Longings is an immersive, multi-sensory, site specific ‘live art opera’ , that revolves around, and delves into questions of cultural identity, home, and notions of place. 

Marking new terrain for the artists in terms of scale and production, Between Lands and Longings weaves together personal stories and definitions of sense of belonging into a rich fabric of actions, images, and sounds. Poetically mapping inner and outer terrain, this domestically surreal, intimate and immersive performance explores the comfortable known, and the untamed territory of the unknown. A stream of embedded voices echo stories of displacement, immigration, new connections, and peoples’ search for a sense of home, as they are torn between lands and longings.   The performance creates a kaleidoscope of extraordinary encounters and moments, drawing people into a space of contemplation around notions of belonging and home. 

To date, this performance has been presented in homes in Bristol for its world premiere at IBT13, in Cornwall in collaboration with Falmouth University, on a farm in the Macedon Ranges just outside Melbourne as part of weekend series of Living Room Operas and at Federation Square, at the heart of Melbourne city centre.

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