I wasn’t sure what to expect from a visit to the site of the Female Factory in Hobart, where women convicts lived out their long sentences in cramped conditions. The recently completed treatment of the historical site features many modern design elements that significantly add to the somber experience of walking through the yards. It’s better and had more of an impact on me than I was expecting and it’s definitely worth visiting.
Steel cages encase fragments of bricks and stones to form walls. The extensive use of deliberately rusted metal is stark and beautiful, as is the use of words formed by exclusions cut from the steel. The site feels hemmed in by the surrounding hills. Now in the suburbs, it was initially separate and isolated from the town. It must really have seemed like the end of the earth.