#3 Fault Lines

Kate Downhill, Burning Bush, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, 76.0 x 122.0cm Photography: Effy Alexakis, PHOTOWRITE © Kate Downhill. Macquarie University Art Gallery Exhibition 2013


The third issue of The Quarry examines the FAULT LINES that run through our bones and minds, that wrenches apart families, or divides the ground beneath our feet. These stories, poems, short scripts and creative nonfiction essays explore what it means to live with a fault line within yourself, in your family, or culture. These pieces travel — to the Anzac War Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park, to imaginary dystopias where cracks in the wall loom large, or people drown in their dreams, to Belfast and a stone thrown through a stained glass window, to the Belanglo State Forest infamous for the ‘Backpacker Murders’, to Nigeria, and to a girl on a greyhound bus willing herself to Canada.

The theme of Fault Lines was chosen by the students through a process of voting; groups pitched other possible themes to the class, including Six Degrees of Separation, Bones, Schadenfreude, Unwanted Gifts, Out of the Dark, and Kaleidoscope. A few quick rounds of voting led us to the almost unanimous decision of Fault Lines. From there we were quick to start brainstorming and workshopping the possibilities suggested by the phrase. The rich variety of interpretations showcased in this issue of The Quarry demonstrates the versatility of our chosen theme. Our pieces range from fantasy to drama, from romance and comedy to horror. Our fictitious characters and non-fiction subjects are complex and diverse – they are kind, cruel, in denial, psychologically damaged, frightened, disturbed, heart-broken, sick, high and euphoric. They will draw you in and hug you close or slap you hard across the face.

Take a look, but tread carefully — watch out for the fault lines.


Thanks go to the students of ENGL390, 2013 for their hard work and good writing, and to this issue’s editors and contributing writers:  Nicola Moriarty, Hannah McNicholas, Jacob Harrison, Jessica Sheridan and Eva Lo. We’re also extremely grateful to Jane Messer for all of her support and guidance throughout the writing process.

The cover image for this issue is drawn from the Macquarie University Art Gallery recent exhibition of works by Kate Downhill.

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