Photograph of a mannequin head in a tree

2020 Visions

(This Too Shall Pass)

2020 Visions details the experiences of students in the UWA Science Communication class Exhibitions and Interpretation (SCOM3319) during the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2020.

It includes objects identified by the students as being significant during this time. This significance was determined on an individual, personal level.

Items within the students’ homes were used to represent this moment in time that will become a major event in history.

The exhibition shows how perceptions of, and relationships with, material objects changed with the COVID-19 pandemic and ‘social distancing’.

The individual stories weave together to create a broader narrative of the UWA student community, and demonstrate resilience, perseverance, and hope.

This too shall pass.

2020 Visions (This Too Shall Pass) is curated by Dr Heather Bray, Lecturer, Science Communication, and students in Exhibitions and Interpretation (SCOM3319).

By week 4 it was clear that I was going to have to re-think the idea of the class curating a physical natural history exhibition. International and exchange students returned home, our classes moved online, and I started to wonder how I could teach a unit that relied on people going to places when we couldn't go anywhere. The idea of creating an online exhibition from objects that the students selected as meaningful to them during this time was partly pedagogical - there were skills to be assessed - but I also hoped that it would give the students an opportunity to talk about their experiences. Our class conversations about these objects and the students' perceptions of them revealed that they were seeing these objects in a new way - they saw their symbolic value and could communicate that in a way that could move the reader/visitor. I don't think I could have hoped for anything more. - Dr Heather Bray


Hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser. Click for full image.

COVID-19 Hand Sanitiser

This disposable hand sanitizer is distributed by the Scitech Science Center to the staff and provided to customers for use. This is a high-alcohol hand sanitizer. Its alcohol concentration can effectively kill Coronavirus and other bacteria and viruses, bringing safety for users. Only the hand sanitizer with an alcohol level above 70% is effective. However, many people ignore this fact. So far, disposable hand sanitizers are displayed in front of various locations, such as clothing stores, tea shops, restaurants, classrooms, etc

When COVID-19 first appeared in Perth, my family had excessive concerns about my health because they could not understand the environment in which I live.  My family told me to wash my hands often, but when I was not at home, I couldn’t wash my hands. In the few days after the first patients began to appear, hand sanitizer was spread throughout Perth.  Whether I'm taking classes in school or going to the supermarket to buy food, the oversized bottle of disposable hand sanitizer is placed in the most eye-catching position.  It has been several months since the beginning of the epidemic, and society has gradually returned to its usual state. However, when I walked into the clothing store or restaurant, hand sanitizer still appeared at the door. It is like our human "guardian", holding on to its post until the last moment. - Yoli

Calligraphy Brush

This is a writing brush that a teacher gave me a long time ago. Later, he became a volunteer for the COVID-19 pandemic, took care of many patients, and then taught calligraphy to sick people. Practicing calligraphy every day is also a meaningful thing for me. I often think of his deeds when I practice calligraphy.

Before arriving in Perth, I was self-isolated in Malaysia for 14 days. I  felt anxious every day. Apart from buying daily supplies, I hardly went out.  I saw the news about  Perth every day. Fourteen days later, I left Malaysia and arrived in Perth, but on the day of arrival, the government suddenly announced that all immigrants must self-isolate at home for 14 days. During isolation, my life was quite boring. I mainly listened to the recordings of the lessons, chatted with my parents and friends, watched the news, and then practiced calligraphy. - Mila


Black handled calligraphy brush

Black-handled calligraphy brush. Click for full image.


Timelapse video of a candle burning. Click for full video.

This Too Shall Pass

The flame is lit with a spark; unexpected and hot. Wax gradually begins to drip down the sides in an unpredictable way. Anticipation grows as it reaches the end and then darkness – the flame goes out.

Life in the first half of 2020 has evolved similar to this candle. COVID-19, the disease that led to a global pandemic, started so suddenly, catching the world off guard. And now we watch as the world around us alters in such unexpected ways. But we must remember, just like the flame, and as the Ancient Persian adage dictates, ‘this too shall pass’.

This label is not intended to be educational but evocative, aiming to encourage emotion and thoughtful reflection. The label tells a dual story through a metaphor, where the ending of one provides the real world ending to the other. - Marina

Kroger Choice Meats

Kroger is a grocery store in the United States that was hiring many new employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in early April 2020, Meridith began working there. Prior to being sent home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was studying abroad in Perth, Australia. In May, Meridith went on a walk around her neighbourhood in Rockwall, Texas where she found this bag in a box outside her neighbour’s house. This tote bag resonated with her and became her new favourite bag. While this item was found in 2020, the logo and slogan date back to around 2006.

This online exhibition shows objects that students found at home that took on a different, more personal meaning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to explain that Kroger is a grocery store in the United States to a primarily Australian audience and that the object itself is from a decade ago. I also included my name to show my personal relationship with the object. - Meridith


Kroger Tote Bag

Kroger Tote Bag. Rockwall, Texas, United States, 100% cotton canvas, c 2006. Click for full image.


Two decorated stools

Two decorated stools. Click for full image.

Return of Chintz – The Beauty Within

What started out as a hand-painted textile made in India, quickly became a prominent fashion icon making its mark from the 17th to 19th centuries around Europe.

Based on the Hindi word for “spotted”, Chintz began as a cotton cloth design featuring colourful floral patterns used for home furnishings.

My goal is to show off the beauty of the Chintz design through a brief explanation of its history. I think it is important that everyone takes some time to notice the things around their home, particularly in a time like now, where we often forget to stop and appreciate the little things. This is how I came to appreciate the beauty of these stools. My process involved researching about the history of Indian art, and the origins of the Chintz design, to understand its significance and how it came about. - Audrey

Sami Bracelet

The Sami bracelet is a handcrafted piece of jewellery steeped in ancient Scandinavian cultural history and tradition. The three primitive parts; reindeer skin, antler and silver-pewter are bound in the natural environment and the Sami craftmanship.

As Europe’s oldest indigenous tribe located across Northern Scandinavia, the Sami people were originally a reindeer herding community, known for their craftsmanship and use of silver metals to embellish clothing and jewellery.

The animal raw materials emphasise its earthly authentic properties, with its ethnic aesthetic forming a symbiosis with the skin that it touches. I am reminded of cultural value beyond material worth.

By embedding personal subtleties in the text I aim to encourage the audience to consider their own possessions. Specifically, how the environment and/or people contribute creatively and how this endows objects with cultural, emotional and historical significance. As an accessory worn daily it holds personal significance as I am reminded of my heritage and family despite being geographically distant. - Fredrika


Two bracelets made of leather with braided silverwork detail

Two bracelets made of leather with braided silverwork detail. Click for full image.


Cross stitch (cotton thread on canvas, in a wooden hoop) of a red cardinal bird was made by Abigail White, a university student, during lockdown in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Cross stitch (cotton thread on canvas, in a wooden hoop) of a red cardinal bird was made by Abigail White, a university student, during lockdown in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Click for full image.

Cross stitch of a male cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

When news of the COVID-19 pandemic reached universities, there was a mass exodus of study abroad students. Abigail, an American student studying in Australia, found herself back home with the familiar cardinal.

With COVID-19 came an increase in free time at home, and a renaissance of craft projects. These included cross stitching and backyard improvements, such as the bird feeder that attracted the cardinal depicted.

This piece was made as a Mother’s Day gift. While disappointed to be home from school, many university students cherished the opportunity to celebrate and spend time with family.

I wanted to show how the pandemic has impacted the average university student in three ways through the lens of this one craft project: study abroad students being sent home, people picking up hobbies, and students spending time with family. - Abigail

Welcome Home! Now, Stay Home!

Back in Singapore – In the midst of Covid-19
The year is 2020. Uncertainty looms in the air. Flights are grounded, borders stay shut. 200,000 overseas Singaporeans return home to an empty airport, home feels different. The world is fighting a war with Covid-19, cities are in lockdown. We are in a circuit-breaker period.

Will we be alright
By staying home, we help stop the spread. It signifies our fight in breaking the chain of transmissions. This pandemic may have dashed plans and dreams. The future appears bleak, but we must remain positive and resilient. Being home and safe with family is what matters. So, don’t fret, it will be alright.

On March 18, 2020, the Singapore government urged overseas Singaporeans both working and studying to return home, given the rapid increase in Covid-19 cases worldwide. My goal was to highlight the growing worry and uncertainty that many felt as they pack and leave for home but felt some assurance with the "circuit-breaker" measures that were in place. A circuit-breaker is a safety mechanism in homes that prevents current from overflowing the system. Staying at home does the same thing for the health system. Being calm and prepared trumps panic. - Leen


Safety mechanism in homes that prevents current from overflowing

Safety mechanism in homes that prevents current from overflowing. Click for full image.


Final fantasy VII for PS4 remake cover

Final fantasy VII for PS4 remake cover. Click for full image.

A decade old wait for fans, Final Fantasy VII Remade

At an E3 Sony Press Conference in 2005, the crowd goes wild!
A game considered to be a timeless classic adored by fans all over the world, Final Fantasy VII, was unexpectedly demonstrated on Sony’s latest video game console, the PlayStation 3.
This gave the fans hope that the game would be remade. Petitions were made and collected tens of thousands of signatures within months but there was no positive announcement.
We hoped and waited, but nothing happened.
On April 3 2020, during the pandemic, the game arrived! We got it a week earlier in Australia. It sold out everywhere!
The game was incredibly fun and extremely nostalgic and satisfying. The wait was worth it.

As a fan having anticipated this game since 2006, it was good to have this to play during isolation. I've written the label as a fan talking to other fans so that the communication is more personal and engaging. - Waran

Ticket to Freedom

"In a time of self-isolation, this lanyard is my means of escape.

I am still expected to go to work, classed as an 'essential worker,' to sell people alcohol.

It feels wrong to be put on the same pedestal as health care workers, who are legitimately risking their lives to help others.

I am always told I am lucky to keep my job, when so many others lost theirs.

I just don’t want to get sick."

The use of first person voice was intended to add a personal, relatable touch for the audience, and using present tense enhances a story-telling dialogue. The story devolves from a light-hearted place to one that is more uncertain with each line to provoke the audience to question the ambiguity of it. - Melissa


Nylon BWS Lanyard (orange, with printed logo), including plastic retractable key holder (nylon wire), plastic badge holder, and two keys.

Nylon BWS Lanyard (orange, with printed logo), including plastic retractable key holder (nylon wire), plastic badge holder, and two keys. Click for full image.


A mannequin's torso in a tree with bees swarming on it

A mannequin's torso in a tree with bees swarming on it. Click for full image.

We Will Survive This

'Life, uh, finds a way.' (Dr. Ian Malcom, Jurassic Park 1993)

What appear to be western honey bees (Apis mellifera) have nested in this old, weather-worn store mannequin.

The perseverance and adaptability of these common bees, nesting in an old piece of refuse turned yard decoration, show us that we can and will persevere.

We will have to adapt to changing circumstances out of our control. But, as we can see from these bees, this adaptation can lead us to beauty unimaginable, born of calamity.

'Together, we will get through this WA.' (Professor Fiona Stanley, 2020)

I want to give hope. The label shows that whilst these dark times were tumultuous, we will see this as a thing of the past someday. We will persevere and adapt, like these bees. And this adaptation will come with treasures that we will not expect, like the beauty of the bee/mannequin born out of necessity but with great beauty, like a beautiful sad song. - Loki