Jessie Garland is a 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 here 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.
Katharine Watson is a PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch. She loves old buildings, and houses in particular. She can happily spend hours walking around a city, taking photographs of them, and Instagram accounts that feature old houses (or old house plans!) are her happy place. And, like Jessie, she’s fascinated by how people construct and create their image and identity, not just in the past but today as well. She also loves people’s stories, and the process of researching them. And finally, she loves sharing stories about all of these things. In part just because it’s so darn interesting, but also because she loves fleshing out the little details of the past, of bringing all its richness to life and making it more real (which seems like an odd thing to say about the past) and familiar.