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Arrival of the Rajah

Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga (VIC)

Presented in association with Abbotsford Convent

#nextwave16 #arrivaloftherajah


5-20 May


Abbotsford Convent: Rosina Building, 1–16 St Heliers St, Abbotsford


Tue–Fri 11am–5pm | Sat 7 May & Sun 8 May 11am–5pm

Thu 12 May & Thu 19 May 1pm | 60 min | Free

Sat 14 May 12pm | 60 min | Free




  • tactile-tour (1)
  • wheelchair - Copy

Tactile Tour, Thu 12 and Thu 19 May, 1pm, incorporated into artist talk

Listen to an audio version of this event information

Event Details

"The Rajah Quilt is one of Australia’s most important textiles… an extraordinary work of art."

Robert Bell, Senior Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, National Gallery of Australia

Over 60 collaborators from across Australia have come together with lead artist Eva Heiky Olga Abbinga to create Arrival of the Rajah: a seven-metre wide sculpture paying homage to one of Australia’s most precious artworks ‘The Rajah Quilt’. Originally quilted by some of the 180 convicts on-board the Rajah Ship during the three-month journey from England to Van Diemen’s Land in 1841, ‘The Rajah Quilt’ remained lost in an attic in Scotland until 1987 and is now held at the National Gallery of Australia.

Arrival of the Rajah acts as a temporary memorial to the nineteenth-century convict women driven into punishing conditions by the forces of imperialism. This work invites the audience to consider their own relationship to the history and colonisation of the land upon which they stand.

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    Arrival of the Rajah performance by members of Plast Australia at Sokil Tabir, 2015

Arrival of the Rajah was commissioned and developed through Next Wave’s Kickstart program for Next Wave Festival 2016.

Special thank you to Plast Australia, Geelong Patchwork and Quilters Guild, Geelong Embroidery Guild, Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company and the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative.

This project has been supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and by the City of Greater Geelong through its Community Arts program.