French & Mottershead
Arts House, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
9 November 2018
Royal Botanic Gardens
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December
Dying, dreaming and decaying.
Bushland takes place in the Royal Botanic Garden. It begins by wearing headphones and lying alone in a welcoming bed of dead leaves looking up at a canopy of green leaves – which will soon die, fall, decay and become part of the soil that feeds new leaves.
As would your body if you died alone under a tree.
Bushland is an adaption of a four-work series called Afterlife by Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead from the UK. With the assistance of forensic anthropologists, ecologists and conservators, it describes in delicious detail the decomposition of a body in different environments. In this case, in the Australian bush.
A gentle meditative voice being played describes what would happen to your body if you died under that tree. The flies would be the first to notice and begin to lay eggs.
It's sounds gruesome, but it's not. Maybe parts of it are, but I found it fascinating and comforting. And very relaxing.
I'm now re-thinking if I still want to be cremated, one day.
It's only on for two days and only a small group can experience it at one time, so booking is highly recommended.