Remembering the Peel Island Lazaret through re-imagining the Teerk Roo Ra forest

Denaro, Chris (2014) Remembering the Peel Island Lazaret through re-imagining the Teerk Roo Ra forest. In GEOcritical 2014 Art Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference, 5-7 December 2014, Launceston, TAS. (Unpublished)


This paper discusses my current research which aims to re-member the site of the Peel Island Lazaret through re-imagining the Teerk Roo Ra forest as a series of animated artworks. Teerk Roo Ra National Park (formally known as Peel Island) is a small island in Moreton Bay, Queensland and is visible on the ferry journey from Cleveland to Stradbroke Island. The island has an intriguing history, and is the site of a former Lazaret and quarantine station. The Lazaret treated patients diagnosed with Hansen’s disease (or Leprosy), and operated between 1907 and 1959.

In this paper I will discuss conceptions of the non-indigenous historical context of the Peel Island Lazaret and the notion of the liminal state (Turner,1967). Through this discussion conceptions of place from Australian cultural theorist Ross Gibson are also examined.

The concept of two overlapping realms is then explored through the clues and shared stories about the people who inhabited the site. There is then an explanation of my own approach to re-member this place through re-imagining the forest that witnessed the events of the Lazaret. I then draw on theories of the uncanny from German Psychiatrist Ernst Jentsch, Austrian Neurologist Sigmund Freud and South African animation theorist Meg Rickards to argue that my experience of the forest of Teerk Roo Ra was an uncanny experience where two worlds or states of mind existed simultaneously and overlapped, causing a viscerally unsettling uncanny experience. Through an analysis of Czech Surrealist Animator Jan Švankmajer’s cinematic narrative Down to the cellar (1982), my creative work Structure #24(2011), and Australian Artist Patricia Piccinini’s cinematic artwork The Gathering (2007), I discuss the situation of the inanimate and the animate co-existing simultaneously. Using this approach I propose an understanding of the uncanny as an intellectual uncertainty as outlined by Jentsch (1906). I also develop the notion of the familiar being concealed and becoming unfamiliar through mimicry (Freud, 1919). These discussions form an introduction to my creative work Nocturne #5(2014) which re-members the forests of Teerk Roo Ra as an uncanny place primarily expressed through animation.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 92735
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Animation, Uncanny, Teerk Roo Ra, Peel Island Lazaret
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Chris Denaro
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2016 23:03
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2016 23:04

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page