The Shape of History

Renowned for his iconic and emotive sculptures in bronze, the internationally acclaimed sculptor and artist Rowan Gillespie has just been commissioned to create a very special project- a set of sculptures for Hobart’s waterfront in Tasmania, depicting and honouring the untold story of the Irish female convicts and their children who came to Hobart Town from Ireland.

From 1803 to 1853, almost 13,000 convict women, together with more than 2,000 children, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land, with countless more perishing during the long and arduous sea journey from Ireland to Tasmania.

In this fascinating documentary, the cameras will follow Gillespie as he visits Hobart to begin his research and immerse himself in the details of the project. During his time there he will visit the brutal sites these women would have found themselves in after arrival, such as the Sarah island penal station in Macquerie Harbour and the Cascades Female Factory, a bleak workhouse for the newly arrived female convicts.