On display : Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show and the assembly of place

Mayes, Robyn (2011) On display : Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show and the assembly of place. In Gibson, Chris & Connell, John (Eds.) Festival Places : Revitalising Rural Australia. Channel View Publications, Clevedon, United Kingdom, pp. 155-174.

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Each September since 1983 in the rural Shire of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia, volunteers collect samples of up to 700 wildfl ower species which are then displayed in the Ravensthorpe Senior Citizens Centre from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm daily over a two-week period. This chapter offers an ethnographic interpretation of this enduring annual event focusing on the 25th show held in 2007. The study contributes to understanding the complex and nuanced role of local wildflower shows in shaping and supporting rural senses of place and of community. Importantly, this particular type of festival, and more specifically this local instance, foregrounds a less-remarked aspect of festivals, namely the (re)production and celebration of place-specific knowledge through validations of, and interconnections between, scientific flower classification and emotive experience. This feature, encapsulated in Laurel Lamperd’s poem above, invites consideration of the ways in which local place knowledge and the simultaneous (re)production of ‘place’ are constituted by a complex layering of rational, objective ways of knowing and those which emphasize emotions, aesthetics and memories. This rural wildflower show not only mobilises both the rational and the emotional in ‘making sense of the world’ for local residents and for tourists, but also offers insights into the production of place as constituted in and through relations between humans and non-human life forms (Cloke & Jones, 2001; Conradson, 2005; see also Chapter 6).

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 71884
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Wildflower Show, Place, Rural Australia, Cultural Work, Nature/Culture
ISBN: 9781845411688
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Channel View Publications
Deposited On: 21 May 2014 22:30
Last Modified: 25 Dec 2015 17:30

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