Friday, February 25, 2011

the 52 Suburbs book cover and other news

I was thinking it would be nice for you to spy the 52 Suburbs book for the first time by yourself
in the inky aisles of your favourite bookshop. But who was I kidding? I can't wait until May 1 when
the book is out.

So here it is! What you can't see is that the numbers are actually cut out and the front cover 

flaps open to reveal the full image behind it. A little like you're looking through a camera lens.
By the way, there's no thin black line around the edge, that's just because it would fade into
the white background otherwise.

Aside from the book cover there was a lot of discussion about book size. Large, small, thin, fat.

Where we ended up really works I reckon. It's a smallish (19cm wide by 16.5cm deep) but chunky
book - 528 pages!

I'm also really happy with the print quality. The colours pop off the page and it just feels really

lush and rich.

All in all very exciting. (By the way, if you feel so inclined you can pre-order from the UNSW Press

website now at Not only will you be assured
a copy on May 1, your early-birdness will also be rewarded with a 20% discount.)

Meanwhile, I'm head down working on the exhibition preparations for the May 14 launch at the Museum

of Sydney. An exhibition space is an entirely different beast to a book so it's spinning my head a
little. But I'm loving it all the same. In fact, I still kind of have to pinch myself when I think back to
when I began the project. It was just something I had to do but I certainly never expected it to 
blossom to the degree it has. 

Last piece of exciting news - before Christmas I was asked by the State Library of NSW for permission
to archive the blog 'in perpetuity'. Which means they'll keep updating the technology as necessary 
to ensure the blog is accessible to people forever. It is quite amazing to think of those living in 
the year 3010 or 5010 being able to check out 52 Sydney suburbs as they were in 2009/2010!

I may just have to go and fix myself a little tipple to celebrate. Cheers!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

a flying visit to the land of trams and laneways

I am of course talking about Melbourne. During the last week of school holidays I made a last
minute decision to jump on a plane the next day with my daughter for a quick look see. I haven't
been to Melbourne for about a decade and I thought it would be fun to take Coco down there.
But the main reason for venturing south? I was curious how a 52 Suburbs Melbourne might be.

Tad ambitious in hindsight. We only had two days, most of which was taken up with kid-friendly
activities - eating in the laneways, riding the trams, and spending Australia Day wandering around
and watching the tennis on the enormous screens at Federation Square. 

In other words, we did the tourist thing. Precisely the opposite of what 52 Suburbs is all about.
We had fun but the upshot is I remain curious about Melbourne and its suburbs. 

A few snaps from our flying visit...

Part 1: Trams and lanes

Largest tram network in the world apparently. The lovely old green and cream W Class trams are
still around but their days may be numbered - despite being listed by the National Trust, there are
plans to phase them out by 2012.

Melbourne's laneways, on the other hand, aren't going anywhere. They sprouted up as a result of
the gold rush in the mid 1850s and are now one of the most celebrated tourist attractions; artists
are even paid by the City of Melbourne to make some of the lanes more appealing.   

the man with the golden shoes - Simon :: 1

the man with the golden shoes - Simon :: 2

hold on, I'm coming!

tram riders

coffee capital


good grub

 Part 2: Australia Day in Melbourne

National flags are such incredibly powerful symbols. As I write this, Egypt is celebrating the end of
the Mubarak era and the papers are filled with images of protesters proudly flying the Egyptian

I couldn't help wonder as we walked around Melbourne on Australia Day, if those who chose to cover
themselves with the Australian flag would still do so were it to be replaced. Would they, for example,
drape themselves in the Aboriginal flag?

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years/decades.

In the meantime, the familiar Union Jack colours as well as the green and gold were out and proud

in Melbourne this Australia Day, as they were no doubt all around the country.

to the stars


and he wore hot pants too

Claire and Gill, flying the Scottish flag too

Part 3: Froth and bubble

'Two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's trouble. Courage in your own.' So said Adam Gordon,

an Australian poet, jockey and politician, born in 1833. What you can't read on the monument
below is the first bit of the poem - 'Life is mostly froth and bubble'. 

some things last

Here's to making the most of our froth and bubble, as well as to kindness and courage. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

so I went for a walk

A quick post to share with you what I did this morning. Or rather what I saw.

I went for a walk from Clovelly down to Bronte. My new thing to give my body a break from sitting
behind a computer for a large part of the day (digital photography requires a ridiculous amount
of sitting behind computers).

I was heading back home, around the coastline, when I felt myself wishing I had my camera with me.
Realised I had a camera of sorts on me - my iPhone. So I decided to try out two iPhone camera
apps - Hipstamatic and ShakeItPhoto. On plant life, the Italian, Greek and Croation men at the bowlo,
and Harper, a human being who's been on the planet for just 12 weeks.

Hipstamatic took the orange toned shots, ShakeItPhoto, the green ones. They're both fun but 
ShakeItPhoto has one very cool feature - it 'develops' like a Polaroid does, gradually coming to life 
and making the same mechanical sound.

Anyway, just wanted to share that with you. Back to very serious 52 Suburbs exhibition preparations.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

love on the high seas

Hello? Anybody out there? It seems like forever since I last posted - six weeks at least - but after
all that work getting the book together, I really needed to put down my mouse and back away
from the computer. I think all that sitting must have messed with some vital part of my vertebra
because I kind of swayed when I walked and didn't feel totally present. 

I actually felt so weird that after all the Christmas hoo ha was over and done with, I carted myself
off for a week at a health retreat. No, couldn't really afford it - that's what credit cards are for - 
but I just really needed to stop and look after myself. As much as I wanted a total break, I took 
my camera with me and managed a few snaps when I was there - I'll post them a little later in the

The break worked and my mind is once again swirling with new projects. Nothing to tell yet so I 
thought I'd share with you some pics of an event I shot last year, towards the end of 52 Suburbs

It involved a small boat, people and rings. Yes, a wedding! No, I know, I'm not a wedding photographer.
But I couldn't resist. 10 years ago the lovely Simeon proposed to the even lovelier Sarah on the top
of the Empire State Building. A decade later they'd produced three kids but were still living in evil sin.
So on 10.10.10 they were going to finally tie the knot. Literally, because their wedding was to be held
on the cutest little ferry you've ever seen - Radar - on Sydney Harbour. The theme? New York 
1930-60s. How could I say no? I did warn them that they may only end up with images of pointy 
shoes and tasteful hair dos but they were willing to take the risk. 

A tiny boat filled with a whole lot of love (and shoes)...

Part 1: The love boat


nephew and auntie :: 1

nephew and auntie :: 2

all heart

there are melons and bananas in her fabulous dress

sea creatures

north-easterly breeze

what bridge, oh that bridge

fifties and flowers

Mad Women

you may kiss the bride

you may kiss the child

you may kiss the father

they cried

they laughed

baby bump



sleeping angel

Part 2: Love Supreme

Radar deposited its newly wedded couple and guests back on dry land just before the heavens 
opened. The reception? At Love Supreme, for pizza and creative expression on the chalkboard 

Manhattan in Paddington

red shoes

princess at play

love is the word

finally hitched


Thanks Simeon and Sarah for letting me share some of your beautiful wedding. And I did warn you
about the shoes!

I'll be back later this week with more of what-that-52 Suburbs-woman-is-up-to-now images. See you then.