Summer studio sale - all of my paintings explorer the way that Australia sees itself through postcards. I take figures from postcards and isolate them from their original contexts, or remix them with other landscapes and figures.
The history of European settlement in Australia is littered with tales of exploration. This narrative of heroic endeavour didn’t die out with the advent of the modern era, but rather was scaled down and bled into the way Australia was marketed to tourists.
As tourism increased in the postwar period through to the sixties and seventies, souvenir media such as postcards and brochures contained tales of great feats of entrepreneurship by the men who built tourist attractions. For example Vince Vlassof and Lloyd Grigg, brought together by their mutual love of shooting local wildlife (in both the photographic and ballistic sense), designed and built an underwater observatory on Green Island, Queensland. In promoting their attraction-building prowess, these men overwrote existing landscapes and traditions with their own stories.
So I’ve been pondering the way that tourist attractions colonise the landscape. Motels, Big Things and other attractions conceal the previous history of a place, often transplanting a stylised exoticism from other colonised parts of the world.
Oil, graphite & acrylic on board
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