Wonders of the Past – 2016

Skills: Painting

Wonders of the Past

The history of colonial settlement in Australia is littered with tales of “discovery” and exploration. This narrative of heroic endeavour didn’t die out in the modern era, but rather scaled down and bled into the way Australia was marketed to tourists.

As tourism increased in the postwar period, souvenir media such as postcards and brochures contained tales of great feats of entrepreneurship by those who promoted certain kinds of destinations. Proprietors boasted of building attractions or catching and training wildlife with their bare hands. In promoting their attraction-building prowess, these men overwrote existing landscapes and traditions with their own legends.

Inspired by vintage postcards, Wonders of the Past suggests a continuation of these narratives. Old-school tourist attractions such as Big Things have started to assimilate into the landscape and taken on an agency of their own.

Wonders of the Past will be on show at Gallerysmith Project Space in Melbourne, May 26 – June 11. Opening Saturday May 28 4-6pm. http://www.gsprojectspace.com/exhibitions/

All works are oil, graphite and acrylic on board, 56 x 76cm.

Photo Credit: silversalt photography