The Australia Project

The Australia Project has launched the first installment of submissions on contemporary Australian culture. The Australia Project is encouraging Australian creatives to explore and redefine clichéd national stereotypes in the hope of revealing a unique perspective on contemporary Australian culture. Here’s a sample from four of the first wave of contributors, Kevin Finn, Ned Culic, Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward

The Future Has Past

Work in Progress

Kevin Finn’s two works comment on cultural identity and race relations in Australia. They can be viewed independently or as a set, and can be intentionally interpreted in both positive and negative ways. Mainstream Australia is still viewed as being predominantly fair-skinned and has struggled to successfully define its contemporary multicultural identity.

Award-winning graphic designer Kevin Finn was Joint Creative Director for seven years at Saatchi Design, Sydney. In 2007 he set up Finn Creative in Kununurra, a remote town in Western Australia and has recently relocated to Brisbane. Finn is also editor, designer and publisher of Open Manifesto.

Girt by Jewel Sea

Ned Culic picks up Australian attitudes in “Girt by Jewel-Sea”, with shades of global warming, catastrophic drought, Aboriginal heritage, political squabbles with near neighbours, Oz manufacturing collapsing, ethnic influences, Xenophobia, extreme nationalism, political shift to conservative religious right and white bread values, beer culture and binge drinking, sport obsession, colloquial expressions, ‘She’ll be right, no dramas, no worries’ attitude. Ned Culic is a versatile Melbourne based award-winning image maker whose creations have been used in promoting some of Australia’s leading consumer brands.

The Life Should Be

The way life should be, is the first significant collaboration between artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward. This work explores the nature of travel, tourism, experience, truth, fiction and the depiction of Australian culture and society through collected tourist ephemera, using hundreds of vintage souvenir linen tea towels to re-upholster everyday mid-century footstools. Little, domestic representations of place and a society in transition.

Justy Phillips is a visual artist, writer and adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, currently based in Wagga Wagga. Dr. Margaret Woodward is currently the Head of School of Communication and creative industries at Charles Sturt University. Woodward was awarded a PhD (Design) from Curtin University of Technology in 2009, investigating the field of interpretation design and the role of design in communicating and framing ideas about Australia’s natural and cultural heritage.

The Australia Project Team

The Australia Project was set up by three AGIdeas award winners who went on to work at Fabrica (the United Colors of Benetton’s communication research centre) based in Treviso, Italy. Chris Edser is currently working as a freelance illustrator and as an animator at Quench Studios. He co-founded and designs t-shirts for Screamdance. Scott Heinrich is a director and freelance editor currently based in Adelaide. He is ex-Creative Director of Colors Magazine, and co-founder of the Do Project. Scott is currently working on documentary and music video projects. Yianni Hill currently works as senior designer at slipperyfish, was a top three finalist in the 2008 Qantas Spirit of the Youth Awards and serves on the committee of the Australian Graphic Design Association.

Filed under: Design