… The body belongs to the order of the things as the world is universal flesh…There is reciprocal insertion and intertwining of one in the other. - Maurice Merleau-Ponty, 1968, The Visible and the Invisible, pp 135-138.

When a bird flies into Elise Petrescu’s heart, she begins to see the interconnection of all things; past, present, here, there, the seer and the seen.

Artist, Elise Petrescu, drives through the Flinders Ranges to research a lucrative painting commission from a mining company. When a bird flies into her windscreen, she crashes her car and local farmer, Kevin Morgan, comes to her aid, but he is suspicious of her motives. As Elise paints the landscapes for her commission, she enters a liminal vortex between the paintings and the landscapes themselves, constantly returning to the site of the accident and ultimately her childhood. With the help of a Lizard, Atma, she begins to see the land, not as an object for exploitation, but as a living being under threat. As a final initiation into a new way of perceiving the world, Elise transforms into the bird that has flown into her heart, but she can never return to the world she once knew.

In this spectacle of magic realism, different worlds and realities fold into each other to question white Australia’s objectification and vandalism of one of the most sacred places on earth.

  • multimedia/magic realism
  • 80
  • 7 total
  • 4 female identifying, 3 male identifying
  • women
  • 18+
  • adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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Female | 30s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 7

EXTRACT: A landscape...from a long time ago...I’m walking in the scrub. Mallee bush. Melaleuca. Red dirt and lizard trails. Flies. I don’t tell anyone where I’m going, because I’m five years old and my mother has told me that the scrub is forbidden. But I decide to go further than I’ve ever been, so I keep walking. Gradually...I get the sense...that I am being watched. Yes. Someone...or something is definitely watching me. I want to cry and run home, but I can’t show the watching ones how afraid I am. So, I sing.... as loud as I can. It’s a song my mother sings to me. Strange child, child of no land Child without a home.


Female | 30s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 21

EXTRACT: The ecstasy.... of weightlessness. A gorge of ancient rocks, streaks of red and black with folds of ochre. The ranges tumble away below. All the names of places disappear. A spine shudders and a lizard raises its dark head towards me. It has the horrible face of a tortured old man, though he is smiling. He winks and cranes his twisted neck, puckers his lips and his hot breath hits me, sending me higher and higher. I am alone in the darkness of space. And here...suspended beyond gravity ...I see his enormous body... the old lizard of the mountains, with the long spine of his withered back curving down to the coast.

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