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“Lake” – Lisa Wilson

This July is a wet month in Brisbane.

Lisa Wilson’s Lake on stage at the Judith Wright Centre earlier this month explored the surface tension of relationships. The setting is the lake itself – the stage is ankle deep in water – with a bush backdrop, augmented by projections on to the back wall.

A young couple camping enjoy the bush in a playful mood. The wonder of bubbles, rain on the face and the joy of puddles (in a tribute to Singin’ in the Rain) transforms into deeper emotions of fear and hurt. The water spirit who watches the couple, reflects and distorts their emotions in turn.

It’s a powerful piece of theatre that counterpoints the QTC-State Library production, Tides: Performing the flood. On July 20, Queensland Theatre Company presented readings and footage of Brisbane residents’ experiences in the 1893 and 2011 floods. From the dramatic to the mundane, from the grief of aftermath to the humour, from isolation to community, it celebrated resilience and survival.

After the show, the audience were invited to Bille Brown Studio to share their own personal flood stories one-on-one or with a group. Ironically, that evening a media article stated Wivenhoe Dam storage had reached 94% with little prospect of being substantially reduced because ‘it was not summer’.

The QTC production complements the Floodlines exhibitions at the State Library with information on Brisbane floods from 1893 to 2011.

The State Library collaborated with the Griffith Review to present a discussion on Survival and Resilience in natural disasters as part of the ‘Deepening the Conversation’ series. The podcast is here: http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/find/webcasts/society_and_social_issues