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Process diary

Phillipa Mason

Mount View High School

Artwork title
Greetings from Vietnam
HSC year
2008
ARTEXPRESS year
2009
Expressive form
Textiles and fibre
Artist’s statement

Greetings from Vietnam was originally designed to recognise the ‘unrecognised’ who were in the Vietnam War. With current news focused on recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a recent trip to Vietnam opened my eyes to a devastating war from before my time.

I’m highly encouraged by the tactile qualities of textiles and fibre as a medium and used the ‘postcard’ as an opportunity to emphasise the contradiction and ironic comparison between the aesthetics of your ‘ordinary’ postcards and the horrors of war.

The ‘eye’ is repeated as a metaphor to represent ‘the window to the soul’ and emphasise the personal grief of war.


Collection connections

Suggest why Phillipa Mason has used the small, multiple format of the postcard to present her images and ideas. Discuss the personal and public associations we make with postcards and their role as a means of communication across distance and time. Assess how Mason’s title reinforces these concepts and enhances the viewer’s understanding of this work.

Outline the similarities between Mason’s work and Joe Tilson’s. Discuss if the impact and meaning of Tilson’s work reduced over time for an contemporary audience. Outline how his work might resonate with recent issues and events.

Mason has deliberately manipulated her materials to age the images. Debate if this is a strategy to link times past to the present. How does this raise issues of the authenticity of facts and the manipulation of truth through the media when it comes to war?