On Peel Island
artists strove for connectedness with the landscape and with its particular histories, histories which remain dystopic despite their efforts.
For instance, there is a wonderful anchorage on the southern side of Peel Island
in Horseshoe Bay.
Ross and Coghill excavated the Lazaret Midden on Peel Island
and found abundant fish bone at all levels, basally dated to 1600 years.
In terms of empirical values alone, Peel Island is remarkable for a number of reasons (1)-it survives as the only material evidence of enforced incarceration by the Australian Government for sufferers of Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy.
In this sense history is something to be understood and re-invested, and so in turn it is possible to interpret the series of residencies that took place on Peel Island last year as one of those ongoing chapters of the re-translation of its history.
The following is a series of stories told to me by a group of artist-students, each of whom took part in a residency program at Peel Island during 2008.
So the value of a place like Peel Island lies in its ability to give up some of the wisps and shards of memories about what it once was, and what it represents, and how its existence affected the lives of those who were forcibly incarcerated there.
The results of the Peel Island research show that we are not talking about an occasional fish being taken but about a well-developed fishing industry.
Could this well-developed fishery on Peel Island have existed before 2000BP?
Peel Island is a small island in Moreton Bay in southeast Queensland.
Peel Island is situated to the west of Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island (Figure 1).
Archival and historical archaeological investigations of the lazaret and other European institutions on Peel Island have been undertaken over recent years by amateur historian Peter Ludlow (1989, 1991), professional historian Thom Blake (1993) and professional historical archaeologist Jon Prangnell (1999).