This book has grown out my fascination for less-than-exciting museums. I particularly enjoy the secondhand mannequins with scuffed noses and displays that have been gathering dust for years. I make a point of searching out the least-popular tourist attractions, in the hope of finding a display of manky plastic fruit or - my favourite -a historical family diorama.
The trend in swish, technologically interactive museums are fine for children, but the creepy dank interiors of the deserted local museum are my delight. I have been recording these museum interiors for a number of years in the hope of celebrating these fast-disappearing gems. The second-rate displays often reveal an 'any old rubbish for the tourists' attitude that is sharper than any deliberate satire.
The narrative behind Damp in Ditchwater is the story of an unscruplous company that, hounded out of its own country, has started over again in England. The clash of values, along with the townsfolk's desperation to 'be put on the map' reveals itself through the comments on the reverse of the postcards. Starting slight but getting more and more vocal until there is little room to actually write a message on the postcard. The Damp employees and Ditchwater townsfolk have an uneasy alliance, where both are grittedly out-for-themselves.
Exhibited at The Southern Cross University Acquisitive Artists’ Book Award. Lismore, Australia: Southern Cross University nextart Gallery, Aug-Sept 2009.
Exhibited at Place Identity and Memory, Dumfries/Stranraer, Scotland, May-June 2009.