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A finale event in Sydney revealed the poem collection to the public for the first time, and will be followed in early 2010 by a touring exhibition to selected maritime museums. The collection was returned to its origins in Hobart via the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. See the profile of the Royal Australian Navy's Adventure of Hornet which sped the poems south.
The Sea Things Documentary can be viewed on this page. You can also share it via YouTube. This ten-minute film was produced with Development Funding provided by the Shark Island Documentary Fund.
The Online Exhibition of poems and paraphernalia collected during the project can be seen here.
How did Sea Things work?
The poems, carried in two duffle bags, made the journey in private, commercial and naval vessels in October and November 2009, travelling from all five ports, to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. Along the way, members of the public, writers' groups and schools added incidental sketches, poems and literary souvenirs. A logbook was kept by the ship captains to record weather and marine sightings along the way. The bags were met on Thursday Island by the local community, and The Red Room Company was there to hold a school poetry workshop and to film the reception.
Commissioned specially for the project:
Graeme Miles (TAS) - Petra White (VIC) - Luke Beesley (QLD) - Sandra Thibodeaux (NT)
At the final event in Sydney, Sea Things was plotted out by a public reading from the four commissioned poets, the first exhibition of the bags and their cargo, a screening of the Thursday Island arrival, and a discussion of the journey by "Skipper" David Jordan. Michael West of the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council provided a thoughtful and engaging Welcome to Country.
Ahoy!...what's that yonder?
The sea has always offered an inspirational and imaginative context for Australian poets and poetry; not just the sea itself but also the coastline, harbours and beaches. Sea Things extended the national scope and appeal of Red Room’s work, including remote communities and a broad public audience in its journey. The project aimed to build on Australia's maritime poetry tradition in a contemporary context, imagining our sea history through new work that can be shared nationally and internationally through print, audio, film, exhibition and web forms.
Making Things Happen
The Red Room crew would like to thank our Skipper, David Jordan, for his logistical advice and coordination of the unprecedented scale of this project. Our media partner for the project was ABC Radio National, providing coast to coast coverage of the project. We would also like to thank the maritime groups who accommodated Sea Things on their vessels during October and November, and to acknowledge that this project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for Tourism and the Arts. Development Funding provided by Shark Island Documentary Fund.