Out In The Open (2017 - film version)


When you spend fifty years of your life waking up to work before dawn, just what are you getting up for? Out In The Open tells the story of a trader's struggle to stay relevant in a changing world. Using stop-motion animation and sound, co-directors Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine have created a surreal, imagined future where age-old tradition has been left behind. 

Animated puppets and miniature models narrate a hidden side of the market and the deep relationship a trader has with his place of work. Ultimately, Knowles and Sowerwine ask audiences to contemplate: what exactly is being sold?

Duration: 10'44"
Completed April 2017




Out In The Open (2016 - installation version)

Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine

Out In The Open is a site specific video installation which tells the story of a trader at the Queen Victoria market. Animated using puppets and miniature models, inspired by interviews with traders, the film narrates a hidden side of the market and the in-depth attachment of a trader to the market. Ultimately, we ask audiences to contemplate, what exactly is being sold?

October 17 - 23 2016
Queen Victoria Market Shed A near Queen St, Melbourne
Melbourne Public Art Biennial Lab
Melbourne International Arts Festival 2016

6 - 24 September 2017
Willoughby Visual Arts Biennial 2017, Sydney
Showing in a reconfigured version installed in a single trader's box

Animated puppets and miniature models narrate a hidden side of the Queen Victoria Market and the deep relationship traders have with the site. Screened in a custom made cinema with market storage boxes, we invite you to contemplate, what exactly is being sold?

We were drawn to the attachment traders spoke of in relation to the market and the way of life working there provides. In this challenging environment traders find fulfilment in the hard work of setting up and packing down.

We were also struck by the common concern traders shared about the slowing down of market business over the past years.

CBD supermarkets, 2 dollar shops and online shopping lure grocery shoppers and bargain hunters away from the Vic Market. Gentrification and changing cooking habits also contribute to a downturn.

We were intrigued by the silver boxes the general goods traders use to store their stock. The boxes move around the site, providing safe storage, However once packed up lthe market becomes empty and still. These boxes and the site’s history as Melbourne’s first cemetery became recurrent motifs in our research and in the film.

Out In The Open imagines a market with only a single trader remaining, embedded within the history of the site, unable to leave.

Sound Byron Scullin & Camilla Hannan
Foley Gerry Long & Scott Heming
Puppet & Wardrobe Fiona Edwards
Set Madeleine Griffith
Heart Victoria Mason
Colourist Daniel Stonehouse
Carpentry Wade Lovich & Simon MacEwan
Box Modification Danny Gelai
Extra Hands Bianka Basic, Rebecca Hayes, Cat Rabbit, Sera Tuitaru, Paula van Beek
Extra Eyes Kristoffer Paulson, Anna Jeffries
Thanks Mattt Bags, Jason Patterson, Maureen Watts, Benjamin Portas, James Cecil, Like Butter

Our deepest thanks to everyone at the Queen Victoria Market.


Public Art Melbourne Biennial Lab,
What Happens Now? curated by Natalie King.
A City of Melbourne arts initiative.