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Ballarat 1854: A Wonderful Time to Visit!

Ballarat 1854: A Wonderful Time to Visit!

The pieces I have submitted are a series of editorial illustrations, inspired by an article in the BBC's History Magazine. The article is very unusual: a travel guide written as if you were to visit a location at some point in the past.
This particle article focussed on Ballarat in 1854: a gold mining town filled with hopeful young men, corrupt police and alluring women.
My editorial illustrations were inspired by specific information within the travel guide. My main image was inspired by the greedy capitalist owners of hotels, which were rapidly springing up through an overpopulated town. They charged extortionate rates for substandard rooms, that the poor prospectors traded their hard earned gold dust, coin or treasured valuables for.
My supporting images for this series feature a young woman, with the strong implication of her promiscuous career. The majority of the population of Ballarat was young, single men. The entertainment was limited and their days were long and hard, and many would frequent the pleasure houses for female company.
The final image was inspired by the corrupt policing in Ballarat at this time. Mounted Troopers (some of which were ex convicts) regularly monitored the prospectors mining licences.
Unless they had succeeded in bribing the officiant, those who were without licences were chained to trees. This was much to the Troopers amusement.
Ballarat was a grim, rowdy, raucous town, where only one in four men found the prosperity they were looking for. With this series, I wanted to compliment the travel guide, selling these dismal experiences in a positive way and looking to the brighter side. The illustrations are essentially an advertisement for the city in 1854.
The styling is a modernised exaggeration of how this town looked in 1854, with the fashion, hair styles and detailing in this image coming directly from research of this decade. Gold embellishment glitters here and there, reminding the viewer that it is not the gold miners that found fortune in this town, but the corrupt civil servants.

Lauren Mychalczuk. Ballarat 1854: A Wonderful Time to Visit!
Lauren Mychalczuk. Ballarat 1854: A Wonderful Time to Visit!
Lauren Mychalczuk. Ballarat 1854: A Wonderful Time to Visit!