GALAXY: 2000


In 2000, under the national illicit drug strategy, Visionary Images was asked to develop an educational resource that would be used in schools and would respond to rising illicit drug use in youth communities.

Visionary Images participants created a postcard invitation that said, ‘it’s about time, it’s about you’ and distributed it to other young people to encourage them to get involved in sharing their experiences of alcohol and other drugs. On the reverse of the card, ten bright pink fingerprints, based on a police fingerprint identity card and alluding to some of drug culture’s serious consequences, were paired with statements such as ‘YOU have knowledge’, ‘YOU have opinions’, YOU have value’, ‘YOU have opportunity’. These messages about individual worth and experience countered media portrayals of young people involved in street drug culture as hopeless and criminal, and established the workshops as a creative space where they could safely meet and explore their experiences of alcohol and drug misuse.

Witnesses to their own culture, more young participants became involved and wrote a set of bleak and disturbing stories that explored the corrosive effects of alcohol and drug addiction. For the creation of the final artwork participants made one-line selections from the stories and poems and gifted each one to another member of the team who then made or found an image that related to the text.

The Galaxy poster, as its name suggests, offers many experiences in microcosm. It is made up 
of small artworks expressing the experiences of young people dealing with peer pressure and the impacts of contemporary drug culture. A regular grid of stamp perforations overlays the images and text, allowing the poster to be torn apart 
into old-fashioned lick-and-stick stamps. These stamps can then be pasted onto other surfaces, re-configuring the work, potentially disconnecting and even fracturing the images.