French & Mottershead


Presented by Vitalstatistix in association with the South Australian Maritime Museum

Take a boat ride up the Port River and listen to the story of your body’s afterlife – dissolving and disintegrating, as it is borne over time and place, through a widening river and out to sea.

Waterborne is the story of micro-inhabitations, decay and the flow of matter. Forensically researched, stunningly lyrical and deeply life affirming, this audio artwork brings science and imagination together in a surprising, beautiful meditation on our watery bodies and the cycle of life and death.

It’s a uniquely unnerving experience but for some reason, as we disembark all those who have been through it appear uplifted. Perhaps thankful they haven’t drowned, but definitely enriched by what is a genuinely remarkable piece.’ Caught by the River

“It’s an experience that mixes the putrid and the poetic, and manages, by bringing the participant face-to-face with death, to be wonderfully life-affirming.” ABC

Image: Briony Campbell

Company/Presenter Profile

French & Mottershead are the UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead. Creating multi-artform experiences that are as playful and poetic as they are subversive, French & Mottershead invite participants to think again about who they are, and their ties to place and one another. Over the past 18 years French & Mottershead have developed a substantial body of socially-engaged, visual and participatory projects in site-specific contexts and locations. They have also shown work in galleries across the UK and internationally, including Tate Modern; The Photographers Gallery; Salt, Istanbul; Centro Cultural São Paulo; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PiCA).


south australian maritime museum

Performance Dates

5:45pm and 7:30pm, 11th – 15th December
On board the Archie Badenoch, Port River, Port Adelaide


$20 – $25

Creative Team

Creators: Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead
Science advisers: Dr Carolyn Rando and
Prof Shari Forbes
Voice: Sarah Kants
Audio post production: Pascal Wyse
Host: Alexis West

Waterborne was initially funded by The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. The Australian adaptation was supported and premiered with Dark Mofo in 2018.