Cultural Mulch

My PhD was an investigation into collectors who create collections of mass-produced objects and of the potential significance of those objects in relation to consumer culture.

Completed in 2009, there were four components: a thesis, a studio report, a website called Turnstile and an exhibition called There are too many things in the cupboard.


3,254 pigment prints, each 15 x 20 cm

4.5 x 26.25 metres (height x width)

The research in brief

In Things: A Story of the Sixties (1990) Georges Perec discusses, among other things, the futility of objects. New objects, fads and fashions come and go everyday, and everyday old ones are discarded. Emerging from the futility of rampant, unthinking consumerism valuable collections can surface. To some degree the question posed by this research is not why someone collects or why one object grabs attention and another does not, but rather the significance of what remains. What do collections of objects infer about the interests of society from the late twentieth century through to the present day?

These ideas filtered through the dissertation, report, website and in the final exhibition.

I was awarded a three-year Australian National University PhD Scholarship by the Faculty of Arts.

Canberra Times article about There are too many things in the cupboard.

“Turnstile, a frankly vast (and very ‘things-y’) website devoted to picture sets, artworks and more.”

According to Things Magazine.