100 cartons, 100 days.

In May of this year I will be conducting a field trip to Far North Queensland, the main purpose of which will be to gather fruit and vegetable cartons and stories in preparation for an exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery in November 2018. There are 104 days between now and then, and so (almost) every day a carton from the collection will be posted on my Instagram from that region.


Presentation of each of the cartons follows the usual process that has been used to document the collection (as per above image), whereby the carton is flattened out to reveal all (or most) faces. This method is useful as it shows as much information in one view as possible, which is useful for cataloguing purposes. This differs to from the presentation method for the cartons in an installation, which is to make up the carton and carton lid into its three-dimensional form – as it would normally be used – with the ‘artwork’ face showing (the face that has the largest or most significant artwork coverage). Aside from the spatial economy of the installation method of presentation, there is a relief element to this type of display in which the depth of the cartons emphasises the the cartons’ volumes, and provides an insteresting undulation across the face of the display as a whole, like a vertical topography.

Cataloguing and Mapping

100 cartons in 100 days is a bi-product of the process of cataloguing and mapping the cartons in the collection that have not yet been recorded. So far in the Cartonography collection database on EHive there are 440 cartons, which represents approximately 55-60% of the collection. The collection is accessible online, including through Trove, the National Library of Australia’s online collection resource, and is primarily to provide searchability of the collection according to a number of criteria, provided in the assignment of tags, or keywords to each of the cartons.

The 2018 FNQ Field Trip

The Field Trip to Far North Queensland is currently in planning, and aims to take in the areas around Tully, Innisfail, Dimbulah and Mareeba, including locations in-between these centres. Commencing on the 15th of May and continuing until the 24th of May, the Field Trip will be an intensive process of collecting directly from farmers in the region, including (hopefully!) those that I have previously collected from. The main objective is to collect each farmer’s fruit or vegetable carton, however for willing participants we will also be recording audio of farmers telling us about their carton, their farm, their family, or all of the above and whatever else they want to share. This collecting process will culminate in an exhibition at Cairns Art Gallery in November 2018, which will be a display of all the cartons collected, alongside their stories.

Getting in Touch 

Farmers and those associated with the fruit and vegetable industry in Far North Queensland needn’t wait until May to get in touch. Please visit the About page if you have a carton, or are responsible for their artwork in some way. We are always looking to hear from growers and their stories.

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This project is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.



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