Cascades Female Factory


Cascades Female Factory

A groundbreaking new exhibition and landscape design for a World Heritage Listed Property, sharing women’s stories through inventive design, creative displays and thought-provoking content.


Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority


South Hobart, Tasmania


Exhibition Design and Content Development
Exhibition Installation
Artefact Curation
Storytelling & Placemaking
Project Summary
Curio Projects was engaged by the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority to develop an exhibition and interpretive landscaping for the new Cascades Female Factory History and Interpretation Centre. This project involved the development of interpretive concepts, procurement of contractors, development of interpretive content and design, and management of installation.
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Curio’s Approach

Our approach to this project was to create an interpretive conduit between the past and the present, and looking forward into the future. In this distinctively female space we aimed to communicate the many histories of the site via the journeys and roles women have experienced, endured and embraced.

Curio worked closely with the client and broader project team to develop an exhibition which showcases inventive design and creative use of materials, images and objects. With consideration of the site’s overall interpretive scheme, we developed a narrative for the exhibition space which introduces visitors to the key themes of the site and provides an opportunity for them to make personal connections and question their place in the story.

The design of the exhibition took inspiration from history and nature, reflecting the colour palette, form and function of the site, and incorporating primary source materials in creative and unexpected ways. The hard landscaping, designed in collaboration with Red Arrow and Jonathan Hearn, provides an evocative reminder of the dark and oppressive prison cells which once dominated the architectural footprint.

Legacy We Leave Behind
This exhibition represents a significant step forward in truth-telling at the Cascades Female Factory. It tells the parallel stories of both Aboriginal and Convict women following the invasion of Lutruwita/Tasmania, and explores the lasting impacts of violence and control, and the ongoing fight for justice and equality in the 21st century.

All photos: Alistair Bett, 2021

Winner – Tasmanian Tourism Awards for Cultural Tourism
The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority recently won Gold in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards for Cultural Tourism at the Cascades Female Factory.

Our team are very proud of the part we played in the interpretation and landscaping of this amazing place. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the enormous team bringing this project to fruition and especially closely with Milangkani Projects, sharing stories of the complex and ongoing impacts of invasion and colonisation through the stories of women connected to this site.

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