ALTERNATIVE banknotes, old mechanical adding machines, and love tokens inscribed by convicts are just some of the curiosities on display in Creative Accounting, a new exhibition that explores the value of money.
The archival objects sit alongside a selection of works by Australian and international contemporary artists. In a time when it’s possible to receive, and then spend an entire pay packet without physically handling a note or coin, Creative Accounting asks questions about money’s enigmatic nature.
Alternative banknote designs raise questions about sovereignty and power, while intricate cash origami draws attention to the aesthetic and ephemeral aspects of currency.
A video piece reworks a financial meltdown into a story about a middle-aged woman in crisis.
What do concepts such as value, ownership, conquest and indebtedness mean in a world where transactions are virtual? How can government plans or foreign policies have substance when the fates of millions rest on the behaviour of tiny digits on flashing boards in a stock exchange?
Creative Accounting also showcases into some very local examples of the world of finance. Architectural plans of the original Wagga branch of the Bank of NSW (now Farrell Lusher Solicitors, corner Fitzmaurice and Johnston streets) show how it was common practice in those days for a bank manager live directly above his branch.
A collection of “Tichbornalia” – souvenirs pertaining to the famous Tichborne case – highlights both the monetary and social values of collecting.
Drawn from the Museum of the Riverina’s own collection, novelty glass plates and porcelain figurines sit alongside evidences of the Tichborne story’s infiltration of pop culture through song lyrics and cartoons.
This accessible and thought-provoking exhibition will delight all ages and is on exhibition at the Museum's Historic Council Chambers site until October 8, 2017.