The way life should be, is the first significant collaboration between artists Justy Phillips and Margaret Woodward.

In its infancy, this is an ambitious, long term collaborative project, which comments on the realities and representations of contemporary Australian culture. This work explores the nature of travel, tourism, experience, truth, fiction and the depiction of Australian culture and society through collected tourist ephemera – using hundreds of vintage souvenir linen tea towels – collected from towns all over the country. These tea towels are being used to re-upholster everyday mid-century footstools. Little, domestic representations of place and a society in transition.

The artists are currently buying every vinyl-covered, wooden-legged, 1960′s clapped out footstool they can find in charity shops and online stores across Australia. The goal is to present an installation of 100 footstools in 2011. The project was launched in Immense Views (a collaborative exhibition with artists Lucy Bleach and James Newitt, at Linden Gallery, Melbourne in November 2009 and will continue to grow.

Do you have a lonely vintage classic souvenir tea towel sitting in a cupboard at home? Want to donate it to THE WAY LIFE SHOULD BE? We’d love to speak to you and get your wares into our collection and onto a footstool asap. Please email us and we can organise postage/ delivery. We will send you a digital image of your tea towel re-modelled into a fine footstool upon installation.

You can view more information on artists Justy Phillips here and Margaret Woodward here.