TV Week 1980-1985 attempts to locate pure monochromatic colour within the specific era of the early to mid-1980s. The pastel blues and pinks along with the quintessentially '80s fluorescent greens and yellows remind us that colour can transport us into another time and emotional space.
Adding to this, each work in the series has two titles which reference the layered headlines seen on the covers of the popular Australian TV gossip magazine – when television series such as Cop Shop, Dallas, Sons and Daughters, A Country Practice and The Love Boat were prime time viewing for most families in Australia.
The sensational headline 'Why Jack Thompson Posed Nude' coupled with the evocative 'Inside Kamahl's Sydney Mansion' was the first work in the series which came from the cover of a magazine picked up in a flea market and led into the entire project as more and more magazines were sourced online.
It appeared that each magazine had increasingly more ridiculous headlines, including 'Rowena: Why I Killed Pat the Rat', 'Nose Job for George Negus?' and 'Benny Hill – Why I Shun Women'.
Other titles such as 'Jamie Redfern – Liberace Was Like A Father to Me' and 'New Sexy Rolf Harris' take on a different meaning, adding a somewhat sinister tone, especially when viewed through the lens of history.
These titles are important descriptors as they help guide the viewer back to particular moments in time.
I have kept the large bold television shaped text of the TV Week logo intact as it's a firm memory trigger and an important locator of experience for the viewer of the project.
It's almost impossible to look back at these magazines with their lurid headlines and storylines and not marvel at the apparent innocence of the 1980s, especially when viewed from the world's current context.
– Peter Atkins, Melbourne, August 2020
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.