Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sydney Writer's Festival

Last week, I spoke at the Sydney Writer's Festival 'in conversation' with Robbie Buck.

They didn't record it on video but most of the audio was recorded.

So for those who missed out on the launch at the Museum of Sydney or SWF, I decided
to grab the audio and line it up with the relevant images I was discussing. A slide-show
with voices if you like.

Sadly the introductory bit is missing so we start about 10 minutes into the hour long talk.

I chose a handful of images to talk about - when the video begins we're up to Suburb
No 9, Blacktown.

It's about 42 minutes long but you can always fast-forward - I was pretty chatty that
day so you won't miss too much.

(Or, if you're in the city this evening, I'm yabbering on in the flesh from 6pm at
Dymocks, 424 George St, CBD.)

Sydney Writer's Festival from Louise Hawson on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2011

immortality of a sort

A brief intermission in all things 52 Suburbs - you! Well, maybe. I'll let the pictures do the talking...

It's a between projects kind of thing. As well as a keeping oneself and child in wild red skirts kind of thing. 
So if you're keen to freeze time and immortalise yourself or your family, in any suburb of your choosing, 
email away.

Back to normal 52 Suburbs transmission soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Finally, amazingly, thrillingly, 52 Suburbs the exhibition and book are live! I'm overwhelmed really. Saturday
was so wonderful.

To all those who made it there, thank you so much for coming. I can imagine it must have been a little squishy sitting
there in the packed auditorium for 40 minutes (was it longer?). And I'm so sorry for those who made the trek and
weren't allowed in once proceedings had quicked off. I guess it was so packed in there already the Museum felt
the need to stop any more coming in. But still, I'm sorry you missed out.

Once I digested the fact that there were more than 180 people waiting expectantly for me to talk, I really enjoyed it.
There were a few butterflies doing somersaults inside me but really, what a great thing to be able to talk about
something you've loved doing so much and have people want to hear about it.

I just felt, and still feel, full of gratitude. I won't repeat all my thank you's again in detail but let me summarise
- to those who allowed me to photograph them, to those of you who followed the blog, to my family and friends,
to New South Publishing and to the Museum of Sydney - THANK YOU!

After the talk was over there was another wonderful experience in store for me - a queue that seemed to go on
forever, lining up to have me sign books. Many of them were blog followers and it was so lovely to finally meet
them/you. Some of you told me you have followed the project since week one or two, over a year and a half ago.
Really, I just wanted to jump over the table and hug you all.

But perhaps the most surreal part was seeing my images in the gallery upstairs. From blog to book to this!

And all these wonderful faces staring back at me, faces I'm so so familiar with but have never seen so large.

The one minor bummer was I forgot to organise someone to photograph all this on the day. But thanks to Ann, here

at least is a snap of me at the signing table.

Feeling the need to document things a little more fully, I raced in to the Museum of Sydney today with my daughter, 
Coco, and took a few pics. 

I got chatting to various people checking out the exhibition - and ended up handing one of them my camera to 
photograph someone I never get any images of - me! Thanks David.

Aside from the prints on the wall, there's also an audio-visual component showing all the images from the book that
missed out on a place on the wall, as well as a computer terminal showing the blog.

What's also strangely exciting is all the 52 Suburbs merchandise downstairs in the MOS Shop. Initially I was dead
against my images being put on any merchandise but I had faith in Peter and Chantal, the retail arm of MOS. 
They have done a great job in putting my images on a variety of objects, my favourite being the magnets, 
drop-down postcards and tea-towels. Yes, tea-towels. And while I'm at it, I thought I'd let you know that you can
also purchase any images in the book as prints from the shop. 

I have been on cloud nine since Saturday and feel as swirly as Coco does in her fabulous red skirt.

If you did miss out on the talk on Saturday, here's a five minute piece the ABC did on me and my project last Friday.

Or you could always come along this Wednesday at 1pm to hear me talk to Robbie Buck about the project at the
Sydney Writer's Festival. I'll be showing some images and talking about them as well as answering Robbie's questions.

That's possibly enough about me for one day. Thanks again to all those who made Saturday - and I look forward to seeing

some of you this Wednesday hopefully.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

today's the day!

Today's the day that this blog is launched kicking and screaming into the real world as a book and an
exhibition. 20 months ago I posted my first suburb. 52 suburbs and eight months of preparation
later, it's been transformed from ether into printed form - in both a small but chunky book and as 
larger prints on the wall.

I so so so hope as many of you as possible can make today. I know you probably think I'm just saying it
but I treasure each and every person who has followed this project. Because it was such a shared adventure.

So, if you can make it, please please come up to me today and say hi. Better still, join me for a celebratory
drink afterwards down at the Quay Bar, Customs House (just roll down the hill from the Museum of
Sydney and it's right there.)

Things kick off at 2pm sharp in the auditorium where I'll be giving a 20 minute talk. Yikes.

Hope to see you there, at the last pit-stop on the 52 Suburbs tour of this amazing city called Sydney.

Museum of Sydney, cnr Bridge and Phillip Streets
$10 entrance fee

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My mum

Next week I'll be giving a little talk at the Museum of Sydney at the opening of the exhibition and
book launch. I'm dreaming it up as we speak, wondering how best to do it. When I come to the bit where
I thank people, I would like to be able to thank someone who no longer resides on the earth but
remains just as alive in my heart and mind as ever - my mum.

The problem is, it's hard to talk through tears. And tears are what inevitably flow when I talk about
my mum. I absolutely adored Maureen Anne Hawson and miss her unbelievably. She was one of those
people who managed to be thoroughly decent and kind at the same time as being incredibly
engaging and left of centre. 

So I thought I'd thank her here and now, in case I lose it completely on the day and spend my time
searching for a hankie instead of actually speaking.

Forgive me for being so sentimental but I hear there's a good internet connection up to the heavens and
I'd really like her to read this...

Mum - thanks.

Not just for being a kick-ass carer of your family.

But for inspiring in me a curiosity about what's around a corner.

I hope you like the book. 

(And I know you didn't really believe in it, but Happy Mother's Day.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

your invite to the book launch and exhibition opening

Without further ado...

I am crossing all my fingers that you're free and can make it on Saturday May 14. 
Because as exciting as the book launch and exhibition are, I'm just as excited at 
the thought of meeting the people who helped to make 52 Suburbs such an 
amazing experience - my virtual travelling companions - you! Especially if you've 
been following the blog for a while and perhaps left the odd comment from time
to time - it would be just wonderful to put name to face.

I'll be giving a bit of a talk and then it'll be up to the gallery space for a spin around 
the 52 suburbs followed by a spot of avo tea and a book signing.
I really do hope you can make it.