Sunday, June 19, 2011

'52 Suburbs'

Louise Hawson spent 52 weeks photographing and blogging about a different Sydney suburb every week and this has led to a 'simple but brilliant' display at the Museum of Sydney [cnr of Phillip and Bridge Sts in the city]. It's $10 entry with several other exhibitions onsite at Sydney's original Government House.
I finally got there today [and resisted the $40 coffee table book version at least so far] and it fits my measure of creative ideas that really work as 'simple things done well!'
The photos are collaged with a simple white backboard, numbered and named as their suburb around a large room with a few on back to back boards in the centre to create an intimate space.
As well as appreciating it for it's own sake I always enjoy thinking about how/what I'd do along similar lines and in missional frame of mind for any local Uniting Church e.g. photo essays, exposes of local characters [ala Trinity Church Wall St in New York which I visited to check out their 'our neighbours' series], iconic spaces and buildings, promoted to the local neighbourhood and either displayed in a community space or if you think people would come then at your property. Staffed by congregational volunteers with the only agenda being one of celebrating community and story where you are...
Imagine a local Newcastle suburb, for arguments sake Hamilton, chose to do something like this... iconic Beaumont St buildings, the local Barber, a character who still frequents the Kent Hotel all these years after the earthquake, Gregson Park, the boys at the Gallipoli Club, the Italian Centre and so on.... [especially including a couple of the UC's older congregants and their story of the suburb] blow up the collage of images around different themes on matt photo paper A3 sized with very simple labels.
Affix them to homemade mdf display boards painted white on each side and set up in the hall or in the worship space beyond 'Bill's Place Fairtrade Cafe' and suddenly a whole new group of people are exposed to the space, the people, the vibe and the creativity and celebration of Hamilton's multi-cultural life.
Expand it further to include all the suburbs of Newcastle and advertise accordingly, maybe using a space from 'Renew Newcastle' in the city or the University OR TRANSLATE THESE TO YOUR OWN LOCATION!!
It would even be worth buying someone a Canon EOS camera to go out and use and encouraging their development... money well spent!! Wallsend's coal history, Adamstown's mix of anglo, sudanese and Macedonian citizens, The Junction/Merewether or the beaches and suburbs...
52 suburbs blog is here

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