Carriageworks, Whelping Box, 24 Frames


Carriageworks is the largest and most significant contemporary multi-arts centre of its kind in Australia. Carriageworks engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks artistic program is ambitious, risk taking and unrelenting in its support of artists.


Whelping Box Film
Whelping Box film is a new short film shot on location in rural NSW.

Two men in the bush, obscured by foliage, hidden away, are putting each other through a strange training ritual. They are guiding one another to reach greater heights of physical endurance. Like dogs on leashes they strain at one another. We see them again – wrapped in sticky tape, they are connected like an umbilical cord yet they are straining away from each other, to the point of exhaustion.

The Whelping Boxfilm began simultaneously with the development of the live performance, presented by Performance Space in 2012. The film extends the root ideas that stimulated the creation of the performance and explores these ideas through a cinematic language. Our intention with the Whelping Boxfilm is to bring the immediacy and intense physicality of the performance to the screen.

The film depicts a series of tasks that add up to a ritual and a cycle that is experienced by the performers, and witnessed by the viewer. The physical act of undergoing tasks, and the different physical and psychological states that are reached through exertion, repetition, play and commitment to the task, form a dramatic spectacle from which meaning is open-ended.

Collaborating Artists
Matt Prest
Clare Britton
Lee Wilson
Mirabelle Wouters
Denis Beaubois
Jack Prest
Alexis Destoop

Commissioned by
Carriageworks, Sydney. Exhibition at Carriageworks as part of 24 Frames Per Second in June 2015