THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE
I have long harboured a fascination for souvenirs, pestering my parents to buy
me cloth badges and rulers on family holidays. This fixation was transferred to
my growing collection of snow domes boosted by friends and family returning
from visits overseas. And while these items were often regarded as tacky or kitsch
by my family, the passion for them did not diminish. Much later, I found myself
analysing souvenirs and tourist ephemera as an aspect of my PhD research into
the communication of natural and cultural heritage through design.
This exhibition, Greetings from Aggaw Aggaw employs souvenir tea towels as the
foundation to make a body of creative work which tests ideas relating to place,
tourism and national identity. The work highlights the role of codes, symbols and
icons that develop into what sociologist, Dean MacCannell calls ‘tourist markers’1
and questions their contribution to ideas of place, national identity and the tourist
experience, inviting audiences to look beyond the surface to a deeper, more
complex understanding of where we live.