Patricia Piccinini – 'Destroy (Sandman)'

Acquired by the Albury Wodonga Regional Arts Foundation, this is a photograph from the 'Sandman' installation, which combined a large-scale sculpture, a film and a series of photographs exploring the subculture around panel vans. 'Destroy (Sandman)' stands on its own as a comment on Australian society and the urban landscape.

Australian audiences recognise the reference to the panel van immediately; the Sandman was the archetypal example of the panel van, a kind of customised delivery van that became very popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Patricia Piccinini started research into vans in 2000 by interviewing members of Melbourne's vanning community. She collected old publications such as Custom Vanning and sought out particular 'show vans' that are part of Australia's history, such as 'Jade' and 'Bad Company'.

In 2002 she attended her first 'Van Nationals' in Wodonga, which she described as feeling like a strange family reunion from another time.

Piccinini has enormous respect for these people and their feelings for their vans, and says she is constantly amazed by how inclusive and accepting they are of others. 'Sandman' celebrates vanning culture rather than satirising or ridiculing it.