Image of The Gem, a paddlesteamer

Stories of the Gem

Fairfax Festival September 16-19, 2014

Stories of the Gem are a series of four short site-specific performance works designed to be performed on The Gem, a dry-docked paddle steamer.

The Fairfax Festival is an annual arts festival for young people living in regional and remote Australia. Through in-community residencies and workshops professional artists work with small groups to create pieces of performance for presentation at a three day festival in Swan Hill.

At the 2014 Fairfax Festival, myself and twenty young people from Barham, New South Wales created four audio works that were performed on The Gem, a dry-docked paddle steamer. The audio stories were based on the true story of the Gem's partial sinking in 1948. The audio pieces were all performed simultaneously and told the story of the disaster from the point of view of a different characters. Audiences listened to the tracks on headphones whilst following the interactive performance around the ship.


Brienna Macnish
facilitator, director
Robert Jordan
sound design, composition