In 2010 I was accepted into the Honours degree for Visual Communication at Monash. What followed was a yearlong self-indulgence into the excesses of kitsch and bad taste—prodding it, dissecting it, showering it with love and throwing it up in the air in frustration.
My initial proposal was to explore the notion of treasuring and collecting the mundane, which brought me to kitsch. I tire of the pretensions of designers when it comes to “bad” art or design, and while the project is superficially a tongue-in-cheek “f*ck you” to all that, I emphasised there is a place for excess, not as a way of living beyond our means, but as a certain attitude towards life, work and leisure. Less may mean more, but more can simply mean more.
My visual outcome consists of 43 cushions (in retrospect, I should have left it at 42 and let my audience ponder that over for a moment), each hand crafted and designed by me. Materials were sourced from all over Melbourne and online. I chose the cushion as a medium to display excess, given its relative affordability, its symbol as a soft, luxurious item and its quintessential placement in the domestic environment.
All my progress work and findings were collated into an 80 page exegesis. Its design and execution reflects the decorative and ornate nature of the project.