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The Archive

Luke Thurgate: The Burra Archive

Luke Thurgate spent ten days in residence at the Burra Regional Art Gallery developing a community authored archive of objects which formed the basis for a live wall drawing project. He used the idea of a collective archive to make social connections with the community of this small regional South Australian town. Locals were invited to lend personally significant domestic objects which formed the subject matter of the work. Thurgate set four simple rules for the project:

  • Every person who left an object had a conversation with the artist
  • Every object got a label with information relating to what it was, who it belonged to, where it came from and why it meant something
  • Every object had to be incorporated into the drawing
  • The placement/juxtaposition of objects within the drawing should resist the imposition of secondary narrative connections.
A time-lapse of Luke Thurgate working on his wall drawing

In the end, 85 objects were left at the gallery and were used to make a drawing spanning 27 metres of wall. The drawing was made live in the space and became a way of acknowledging the intersecting memories, stories and identity of the Burra community.

The Burra Archive (installation view), 2018