The final space ghosts the original 2m x 3m Quod cell. The simulation is based on the original plans and eye-witness accounts of the conditions and appearance of these cells between 1864 and 1903.
Up to seven men slept in a space this size. One in ten men died and were buried in the camping grounds next to the Quod.
Due to the efforts of Aboriginal Custodians and their supporters, these camping grounds were closed for business in 1997. This year celebrates the centenary of tourism on Rottnest Island and the authorities have finally placed a sign with the plans to acknowledge the gravesite in the future in accordance with the wishes of Aboriginal representatives.
The audio installation in the cell sounds the voices of Aboriginal Elders, Cedric Jacobs and Noel Nannup and representatives— Ron Bradfield (Jnr) and Michael Smith. They read from historical reports about conditions for prisoners. Historian, Dr. Neville Green, tells the view of the gaolers, doctors and government representatives of the day. Other collaborators read texts from the journalists and historians who were eventually allowed to visit the island and whose accounts of the terrible conditions there finally affected change.
31. The Cell. Wood & polystyrene. Sound installation by Abe Dunovits.