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9 – 12 Nov

Close to the submerged remnants of the Fremantle Long Jetty, an immersive re-telling of arrival and separation will unfold.

So once you were here they had you is an experiential audio-visual poem to the 50 young cotton-weaver women who arrived on the shores of Walyalup, journeying by ship from Lancashire over 110 days and nights in 1863. Created by electronic music composer Rebecca Riggs-Bennett and video artist Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson, this work takes place across Bathers Beach, re-tracing the steps of the women and the many others of the “Bride Ship” era.

So once you were here they had you is a reflective honouring of the time swept experiences of these women. Cross with us into an immersive, at times ghostly, real and imagined narrative of migration, loss and departure.

Original research, dramaturgy & collaboration: Rachel Riggs
Animator: Jarrad Russell
Dramaturgy & Co-Designer: Rachel Riggs
Narration: Angeliki Georga & Phoebe Georga
Featuring poetry of the Lancashire cotton famine (1861-1865) by University of Exeter and audio recordings by Catherine Hill and Helmshore Mill.

Date and Time

Bathers Beach (Meeting Point: Boardwalk in front of Bathers Beach House), Fremantle
9 – 12 Nov
Thurs – Sun
7pm, 7.30pm, 8pm

Audio-Described & Assistive Listening Performance
Sat 11 Nov (book here)

Auslan Interpreted Performances
Sun 12 Nov (book here)

Rebecca Riggs-Bennett (she/they) is an Anglo-Australian artist, electronic music producer, composer, sound designer based in Boorloo on Whadjuk Country. She works with sound as a device that transmits, transports and transforms, often through forms of live art, installation, and spoken text. Through what can be termed as interdisciplinary, socially-engaged and experiential practice, Rebecca examines systems, entangled histories, ecological networks and personhood to generate immersive and participatory possibilities. Her sonic work includes: Punkaliyarra(BighART/Perth Festival), Painting With Light (Meridian Regional Arts), Time Reveals The Unseen (Yandell Walton/MOD. Adelaide), Nocturna (The Kabuki Drop) Habitats & Homes (10 Nights In Port Festival), Playthings (Black Swan State Theatre Company), Whale Fall (The Kabuki Drop/Perth Festival), Boxed In (WAYTCO), The Table (DADAA) Our Sandman (Cool Change Contemporary) and my sandman (Crack Theatre Festival). Residencies include Fremantle Biennale, PICA, Time_Place_Space: Nomad and Perth Festival Lab. Rebecca also produces ambient electronica through the project Elsewhere/Rebecca and released her first solo album With Me, We Walk in 2020; an interactive headphone experience for traversing the pandemic. The project was nominated for a ‘Best Electronic Producer’ WAM Award in 2021.


Elham Eshraghian-Haakansson (she/her) is an award-winning Iranian-Australian researcher, director, and video artist. Her arena of work centres itself within communal and collaborative social practice. Her research navigates inherited stories and postmemory felt by displaced community through the poetics of the moving image. She invites viewers to become the ‘witness’ rather than the ‘passive bystander’, examining empathy in film poems, and immersive multi-media experiences facilitating a critical discussion surrounding empathy, custodianship, compassion, and social change. She has collaborated with multiple art organizations, such as Spaced, Next Wave, Victoria Park Community Centre, PICA, Community Arts Network, Immerse Australia, Co3 Dance Contemporary and Encounter theatre. Her work has exhibited nationally and internationally, receiving numerous prestigious art awards for her video installations such as the 2018 Dr. Harold Schenberg Art Prize, 2020 Invitation Art Prize, 2020 14th Arte Laguna Special Prize Award and the 2022 Ellen José Art Prize as well as a recipient for the inaugural Early-Career Creative and Performance Leadership Fellowship 2022 with the Forrest Research Foundation. Her artistic values prioritize agency, empathy and legacy advocating for community arts programs, as co-founder of the Second Generation Collective, which seeks to bridge intergenerational gaps, navigating trauma and communal care.

  • Bathers Beach, Fremantle
  • Information

    Duration: 30-minutes

    Viewing Locations: The Boardwalk in front of Bathers Beach House. 


    IMPORTANT: This event requires audience members to bring their own Bluetooth mobile device to listen to the sound. Sound vests/speakers will be provided.


    This work is mostly outdoors, and while there is some shelter please dress according to the weather. In the event of inclement weather the show may be delayed or cancelled. Drinking water will not be available so please ensure to bring your own. The nearest public toilets are Esplanade Park Public Toilets and Arthur Head Public Toilets.

    Latecomers will not be admitted. Please arrive early.


    Food and drink:
    Food and beverages will not be available on site, but there are several great hospitality options nearby. Visit our Plan Your Visit section for our favourite cafes, restaurants and bars.


  • Getting There


    Marine Terrace Car Park
    Little High Street Parking.
    Arthur Head Reserve Car Park
    Round House Car Park


    Public Transport:
    The event location is a 12-minute walk from the Fremantle Train Station, which is the final destination for the Fremantle Train Line, as well as several bus routes.

  • Access

    While some of the event is held on the beach, it can also be experienced journeying along the boardwalk, which can be accessed by wheelchair. The nearest accessible toilets can be located at Esplanade Park Public Toilets and Arthur Head Public Toilets. The nearest ACROD parking can be located at Marine Terrace Car Park and Little High Street Parking.

  • Image credit

    Rebecca Riggs Bennett & Elham Eshraghian Haakansson, So once you were here they had you (2023). Commissioned by the Fremantle Biennale for SIGNALS 23. Photo by Owen Liao.