French & Mottershead

Image: Paul Blakemore


Lie under the trees with a deeply affecting audio work about the body after death.

The work

Lie beneath the trees and fade into the leaf litter of the forest floor. A visually evocative audio work, Bushland connects you to the biochemical processes that will continue long after you’ve lost consciousness, as you’re slowly and gently subsumed by the earth over thousands of years.

Bushland is an adaptation of Woodland, one of four works in UK duo French & Mottershead’s Afterlife series, which explores, in poetic and precise detail, the human body’s decomposition and the influence of different environments. Created in collaboration with forensic anthropologists, ecologists and conservators and now nuanced with Australian experts, it reveals minute details in the science of decay and renewal, to allay the fear of the unknown.

A love poem to the forest and the body, Bushland is both visceral and meditative. It’s a chance to step out of time and connect to your body as never before – your body as it could be one day.


Written & Devised: French & Mottershead
Voice: Sarah Kants
Science Advisers: Dr. Carolyn Rando and Prof. Shari Forbes
Audio-Post Production: Pascal Wyse
All photo credits: Paul Blakemore

Bushland is presented in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria and the City of Melbourne through Arts House, Bundanon Trust, and Metro Arts in Brisbane. Bushland is an adaptation of Woodland, one of four audio works from French & Mottershead’s Afterlife series, which was supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.


French & Mottershead are the UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead.

Spanning performance, video, photography, sound and digital installation, their work makes use of detailed social and forensic research to expand the viewer’s relationship to site. Often working with experts as part of their process, they undertake rigorous investigations into the ways environments, architectures and public spaces connect with who we are, and define a particular context to examine the codes and conventions that underpin the flows of feeling within.

Recent exhibitions of their Afterlife works include: Dark Mofo, Hobart (2018), River Separates Water, Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh (2018); The London Open 2018, Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kills 99.9% of All Bacteria, CCA Derry/Londonderry (2018); Brighton Festival (2018); SICK!, The Whitworth, Manchester (2017); ANTI Festival of Contemporary Art, Kuopio (2017); In Between Time, Bristol, (2017); Points of Departure, Estuary Biennial, London (2017).