Mr Dawes Pronounces Well


Artist Statement
Development stage of a multi-disciplinary performance work based on the notebooks of First Fleet marine / astronomer / surveyor William Dawes who recorded his encounters between 1788-1790 with the indigenous peoples of the Sydney foreshore area most notably young Cadigal woman, Patyegarang.[...]The live action process will involve the opening up of the primary source notebook text through the actor's physiology of movement, voice, physical and emotional inter-relationships with Dawes text (words, correction marks, and spaces/silences between the words) and each other. Other source material will be diaries and letters that refer to Dawes and Patyegarang (i.e., Elizabeth Macarthur's letters & journals).
The secondary source material will be current writings and interpretations of their encounter (i.e. Inga Clendinnen's Dancing With Strangers). The other source text will be what the artists bring of themselves to the work, personal text, cultural stories, constellation and creation myths and their 'speakings back' to Dawes and Patyegarang from varying viewpoints. We aim to devise a chorus ensemble of indigenous performers to counterpoint the dual Dawes Patyegarang protagonist/s structure.
Source of Artist Statement


Richards, Kate
Gibson, Ross




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Live performance work




Richards, Kate and Gibson, Ross, “Mr Dawes Pronounces Well,” ADELTA, accessed May 20, 2019,