Prof Claudia Terstappen




Monash University, Australia



Paper title

The silent narrative of images


Over the past 20 years I have been interested in how different cultures express their beliefs through images, objects and rituals. Recently I have become more focused on temporary shrines that have been privately created and don't follow any specific aesthetic rules; hybridised forms of memorials that seek to address loss. This has become a major theme in my artwork. In this paper I will explore roadside memorials as an example of temporary shrines.  Whilst they are common in North and South America and in some parts of Europe they began to appear along Australia's roads only about 15 years ago and are now a growing phenomenon.They are seen in many public areas and are built without authorization. In some areas of Australia,local authorities have started to remove roadside memorials in order to prevent more accidentsdue to drivers being distracted . They are replaced with normal roadside markers marked with the addition of a black cross for a fatality and a red angled stripe for those seriously injured. All personal attributes from the roadside memorials are removed and what is left is a standardised marker for a death or serious injury. It seems however that this does not satisfy many who have created elaborate memorials. This attempt at standardisation seeks to take away the individual expression and emotion. It makes the deceased person anonymous and reduces their death to a standardised warning sign fordrivers. People are now finding ways to personalise the crash markers. I noticed that in some places, where the personal shrine had been removed and replaced by a 'marker', the marker itself had been decorated.


Thursday 29 September


1:30pm - 3.00pm







Chairing sessions

Friday 30 September, 1:30pm - 3.00pm

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