Come and meet Jessie Garland, the archaeologist who identified and analysed the objects in the exhibition. Find out more about the stories and the artefacts and what her job entails.
Jessie Garland is an archaeologist, material culture specialist and PhD candidate at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She likes birds and things and has so far devoted her adult life to drawing one and studying the other. When she can be persuaded to concentrate, she spends her days using the relationship between people and their stuff as a way of understanding how past peoples constructed and moved through their material and social lives. She’s particularly interested in individual and community identity, as expressed through people’s things, and the way that access to goods influences how those goods are perceived and used. All of which is to say that she spends a lot of time thinking about the meaning of objects and may be found waxing lyrical about everything from nineteenth century European porcelain to her own keys. She is easily distracted by historic newspapers, but aren’t we all.
Through the Shop Window: An exhibition featuring archaeology and stories of the 1860s shops that stood on the site of Te Pae.
Looking out through the western windows of Tūranga to the site of Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, this exhibition showcases the archaeology and stories of the 1860s shops that once covered that same street-front. Many of the huge array of artefacts excavated from the site were once "fancy goods" displayed on the shelves of shops like London and Paris House, Gould and Miles or the Well-Known Little Shop, for the perusal of early colonial settlers in need of a little retail therapy.
Come along to Tūranga to find out more, including why these objects were thrown away (possible culprits include clumsiness, fisticuffs and a lost labrador), how many times shops on this street burned down (more than you think) and what these artefacts, together with the stories of the shops and shopkeepers, can tell us about colonial consumer culture in 1860s Christchurch.