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November - Alan Townsend, If these walls could talk: mural archaeology & lives past

Published: Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Alan Townsend tells the story of how artefacts hidden within our walls (including, but not limited to, wallpaper) can tell the stories of lives lived within these houses. These stories start with the wallpaper choices themselves, but also in some cases, the story continues through the use of documents found interlaced within the wallpaper layers. And of course, the stories evolve by cross-referencing Tasmania's extensive archival collections of personal and government documents.This applies not only to the marine villas of the colony's administrative class, but also to the simple timber cottages built by hands roughened from convict labour. In some cases the walls not only talk, they won't shut up...

Alan Townsend is a wallpaper obsessive and self-taught reproducer of historic wallpapers. His day job is working as a Heritage Projects Officer for the Clarence City and Southern Midlands Councils.