Part Documentary. Part Love Letter

Three years in the making and incorporating hundreds of still photos, DARKswell is a fifty minute audio-visual performance. Drawing attention to the intricacies of life swelling beneath the charcoaled surfaces of a land regenerating, DARKswell challenges us to see vital and often invisible processes that are supporting what is perceived to be gone. Sharing their common lived experience of the 2019/2020 NSW bushfires Julie observes, shares and builds recipient knowledges with local producers and landcarers to take the audience on a personal journey of the everyday after fire.



Performer and lead artist: Julie Vulcan

Sound designer: Ashley Scott

Images: Julie Vulcan with contributions from David Bray, Louise Freckelton and Bindi Vanzella

Vox: Craig Anderson, David Bray, Louise Freckelton, Ashley Scott, Bindi Vanzella and Julie Vulcan

A big thank you to Craig Anderson, David Bray, Louise Freckelton, Shane Herrington, Kathryn Masterson and Aunty Cheryl Penrith for walking and talking with me. A huge thank you to Sarah Last, Anna Schoo and Xan Colman for supporting and enabling the realisation of the work.

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I live and work, the Gundungurra and Tharawal peoples and the Wiradjuri, Wolgalu and Ngunnawal peoples on which this project was also made and whose country the fires also swept through. I remember that sovereignty was never ceded.

This work was commissioned by Wired Lab for the agri(culture) II project as part of Wired Open Day 2022. This project is supported by the Austalian Govenmnent’s Festival Australia, Indigenous Languages and Arts programs, Regional Arts Australia Regional Art Fund; Hilltops Council via the NSW Government’s Reconnecting Regional NSW Community, Community Events program; NSW government through Create NSW and assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.