A radical reimagining of Jean Rhys’ novel Wide Sargasso Sea.

Crawl Me Blood is a sound and video installation designed to take place in a Botanic Garden setting at night.

Taking its inspiration from Wide Sargasso Sea – a work of modern fiction written by Caribbean author Jean Rhys – Crawl Me Blood is the result of a rigorous six-year process of writing and development.

‘Crawl me blood’ is a Caribbean phrase that means ‘the secrets that you sense but are not told’. This interpretation invites an Australian audience to unpack their own views on race and gender in the ferment of a post-colonial world.

“Blackness in the white imagination has nothing to do with black people.” ­Claudia Rankine

Contained within the manicured boundaries of a Botanic Gardens, the audience are given a map and a small FM transistor radio, perhaps a nip of rum. As a group, they move to a series of different locations in the gardens where, imbued by the atmosphere, smells and sounds of the gardens at night, each audio scene unfolds.

Presented as a pre-recorded Radio Drama adapted from Rhys’ novel, the audience follow the story of a young Australian woman as she travels to the Caribbean for her Grandmother’s funeral where she must reckon with the reality of her colonial inheritance.

The work is bookended by two original video works to be viewed in an enclosed space such as a conservatory or greenhouse. Filmed in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens, these stunning and confronting video works speak to the core themes of race and gender in the work.

It is scored by original music composed by Felix Cross and a collection of evocative contemporary and traditional music drawn from the Caribbean Region including Dancehall, Ragga, Calypso and Soca.

Crawl Me Blood has been co-created by Halcyon Macleod and Willoh S. Weiland with composer Felix Cross, performers Natasha Jynel, Zahra Newman and Alexis West, and system designer Matt Daniels. The team of Australian artists all have connections to the Caribbean region (Trinidad, Belize, Jamaica, Barbados) and their experiences contribute to the content of the radio drama.


Adapted from the novel by Jean Rhys
Directors Halcyon Macleod and Willoh S.Weiland
Composition Felix Cross
System Design Matt Daniels
Performers Natasha Jynel, Zahra Newman, Halcyon Macleod and Willoh S.Weiland
Sound Consultant JR Brennan
Co-Producers Aphids & Performing Lines


Narelle Lewis | Producer
[email protected] |
+61 (0)2 9319 0066

Claire Portek | Producer
[email protected] | +61 (0)414 765 915