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Telling Perth's toy stories

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Tags: Homepage; Research; School of Communications and Arts; Homepage featured

ECU PhD candidate DeeDee Noon is inviting participants of all ages to be photographed ‘toygether’ with their most cherished toy.

Toys feature as principal objects of focus and context for Ms Noon’s wider PhD research. Through carefully composed portrait photographs she considers the connection people have with their toy and the emotions that underpin their interaction.

A reflection of society

Easy Bake Oven was a favourite in the 1960’s, Baby Alive in the 1970’s and Transformers in the 1980’s. Ms Noon said the current thinking of the time is often reflected in toys.

“Toys can provide a lens to consider characteristics of the period that conceives and consumes them,” she said.

“Although toys are a highly visible feature of everyday life, their significance can often hide in plain sight,” Ms Noon said.

Cherished by old and young

Ms Noon said at certain stages of human life – not restricted to childhood – particular toys can hold deeply meaningful connections for their custodians.

“My photographic portrait research aims to explore the emotions that underpin person-to-toy transactions,” Ms Noon said.

She will set up a photo booth at Central Institute Gallery in Perth to capture the relationships between toy and individual.

“The photo booth will provide a way to playfully showcase the wonderful ways that people commune with their treasured toys – whether that’s big, small, old, new, handmade, fugly or cute,” Ms Noon said.

A series of photographic portraits will be generated to provide a time-capsule of Perth people and their toy stories. The series will receive a public showing at a later date.

Ms Noon’s PhD research, A collaborative approach to photographic portraiture: Toying with photographic practice, follows her earlier project Pinkification: Rethinking pink. That First Class Honours research featured photographs of Perth women and their relationship to all things pink.

The ‘Toygetherness’ photobooth will run from Monday, 29 February until Thursday, 24 March 2016 in the Shopfront artist-in-residency space at Central Institute, 149 Beaufort Street, Perth.

Portrait sessions will be arranged by appointment. Interested people are invited to email their details and toy selfie to or

At ECU, we’re committed to research that has strong social, economic, environmental and cultural impact. Enquire now about a postgraduate research degree.


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