Opening is a film animation (43’00”), which premiered at Federation Square in September 2012. It derives its compositional logic from the ground pattern (Nearamnew) in the Square. The ground pattern is a movement form designed to express the centripetal attraction of different story lines to the place. Among these story lines the cross cultural histories associated with Lake Tyrrell, a large salt lake in Victoria’s northern Mallee, are important.


In 2010 Paul Carter’s book Ground Truthing was published with an account of the poet John Shaw Neilson, who worked in the Lake Tyrrell area and who, while living there, wrote the ‘Red Sadie’ poems. The distinguished classical and contemporary dancer Soo Yeun You collaborated with noted film-maker Dirk De Bruyn and dramaturg/director Paul Carter to animate the spirit of Red Sadie and to ‘stir’ the colours of her dream into the spirit animating Federation Square. Opening explores the shadow ground between memory and fantasy, location and dislocation, which characterises the migrant experience. The agitation of the animation and the ‘vorticism’ of the shooting and post-production techniques explore a poetics of place-making that is turbulent, populated with doubles and subject to constant decay and renewal.