Oliver Whitehead

'Consumerism is the greatest device anyone has invented for controlling people. New fantasies, new dreams and dislikes, new souls to heal.'

J.G.Ballard: Kingdom Come

Tourism that began as a way of organizing vacations has almost become a right of passage to any part on the world that can create almost any kind of holiday you desire. Viewed from the 'home', through the ubiquitous media, we are constantly prompted about the entrances to leisure, escapism and adventure via; the internet, news, television, film, brochures, shopping, magazines, adverts etc. A vacation usually begins with viewing seductive self-promoting advertising images that will be with us as we are guided through the holiday.

'Detour' looks at the contrasts surrounding of the tourist look that is loaded with images and messages that influence us without us being able to affect their source. But nevertheless, in response to these images, we construe for ourselves holidays in which we hope to experience.

In the tourist media-scape we holiday among the purpose built leisure resorts that provide facilities with their conveniently placed souvenir shops filled with, kitsch, clichés and the 'theatrical' mementoes that entice us to endorse our visit.

In making this exhibition, I moved through various kinds of 'leisure-scapes', real and imagined using digital imaging to create the works that resulted a dual photographic exhibition of visited resorts and imagined experiences. One part consists of documentary photographs taken in and around holiday resorts, whilst the other are digital collage images constructed from various sources of tourist related images.