Ritual and Performance

Sarah works in collaboration with women, and other artists to co-create sacred ceremonies and ritual. Her work often focuses on creating mytho- poetic and embodied stories of women’s rites of passage. She seeks to deepen peoples relationships with their own bodies and the earth body. Movement, story and drumming are woven into the spaces, and participants are encouraged to create personal and shared rituals and performance.

Shoreline Vigil for Westernport

The Shoreline Vigil for Westernport Bay, Warn Marrin was a deeply personal ritual. This is the site of sarah’s childhood home, where her wonder, curiosity and love of the natural world was born. The ritual was a local community event created in response to the devastating proposal by AGL to create a gas import terminal, a 290-metre long floating gas terminal, and all the shipping and infrastructure associated with it. The proposed project will be disastrous for this unique and internationally recognized wetlands, for the 630 animals that call the bay home which include critically endangered species such as the Orange Bellied Parrot and the Eastern Curlew. It will contribute to global warming and thus further the devastation of our natural world. This project is and has been fiercely opposed by the local community for more than two years. 

Many hundreds of people gathered along the shoreline, together but apart, standing for Westernport. Specifically the Shoreline Vigil for Westernport Bay was designed as an opportunity for locals to:

  • Show your love of Westernport Bay
  • Show you stand for and will protect Westernport Bay
  • Listen to the living waters of Warn Marring, in quiet contemplation, in the spirit of Nyernila (to listen continuously, or deep listening)
  • Demonstrate to AGL and the Premier of Victoria that this Bay is too precious to lose.

A Simple Plan for our Shoreline Vigil

The community was invited to show up on their most loved Westernport – Warn marring shoreline at 4 pm  and stay until sunset. The format for the vigil was about connecting to Ancestors- the traditional custodians, the BoonWurrung, and peoples own ancestors. It was a way to connect to the place, to be in silent contemplation (Nyernila) of this place, this Country. Participants were invited to send their love in whatever way feel true for them, singing, drumming, standing, or in silence. A simple powerful offering and a commitment to stand for the War marrin, for Westernport Bay.

And show up they did. The response to the event was beautiful. The Insta posts keep rolling in showing how much love and connection people have to and for Westernport Bay, warn marrin. This campaign is important as it nourishes the activists who can get disheartened by the powers that be. And gathering on the beach we knew we had a more significant power on our side. A huge rainbow arced from Phillip Island across to Crib point, reflecting the love and light from and to this beautiful place. She is with us and we with her.

image from Chloe Farmer, Merricks Beach

Ritual Spaces

Sarah loves helping people foster a deep connection to their own living loving bodies, to the mystery and wonder of the universe within. She offers dance, ceremony and ritual as ways into the body, and into the earth.

Feminine Embodiment Ritual, Seven Sisters Festival, Mt Martha 2019- with Sonia Stocco
Honouring the Maiden, Melbourne 2019
The Dome, Otways 2019 Ritual Space

Women and the Drum

Sarah has a passion for returning women to the drum. The frame drum is a pan cultural instrument, sacred to ancient women and used in ceremony and ritual. Sarah weaves the drum into many of her sacred rituals today and in the making of frame drums.

Sarah acknowledged her teachers, Jane Hardewick Collings and Jane Elworthy for inspiring her to work with the drum. Layne Redmond, whose book When the Drummers Were Women shows how important this instrument has been to women through time.

Drumming preparations, Planetary Dance for Peace, St.Kilda Foreshore 2018
Drumming for Rite of Passage Ceremony, Brighton 2018

Sarah’s passion for movement and dance is lifelong. She encourages all women to find their inner dance, to move with freedom and joy, and to honour the creative story telling inherent in their movements.

Performance piece for Dancing in Space, Dancing in Community- with Marylee Hardenbergh, and other dancers. Abbotsford Convent, 2018