The Convicted Ireland in Van Diemen’s Land


Footsteps Towards Freedom by Rowan Gillespie

“You know child, these sculpture is about our great great great grandmothers who was convicted into this island years ago.” a granny spoke to me when I was standing and admiring a sculpture in the city of Hobart. I looked at her and smile, feeling still not so good with English conversation, I nod and said that I was curious about it.

“You could read it one the bases, those are their names. Uh, I’ve got to go now, enjoy the weather dear.” the she left with her red bike, I told her to enjoy her day and got back to my camera, tried to capture the sculpture.


I’m not so great.

I am also not a great artist and seeing these somehow made me feel a little jealous. These sculptures made me feel sad alongside with the red bike granny short tale. The next thing I did surely to google these sculptures and found a way to their website, I learnt that it called Footsteps Towards Freedom. It was made by Rowan Gillispie, an Irish sculptor that inspired by a historical even where thousands of women was convicted and stepped into their unknown future along with their children in Van Diemen’s Land or what we called today Tasmania.

This story was happened in March 2018 during an artist residency program in a little town called Cradoc, 30 minutes from Hobart. I wrote this as a form of encouragement of what I’m doing these day. Stepped into unknown future in a land where is not belong to my country with I think a much better circumstances than what those women had.

This is my footsteps toward freedom.

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