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.


  1. Saturday was awesome for all of us as well Louise. I ran into some acquaintances who had read about the launch and exhibition just last week and they were blown away by the project and your photos, so it is just as much a hit for newbies as for 'followers'. Your talk was fab and adds yet another dimension to the project to hear about its origins and your experiences through the journey. My one suggestion for improving the exhibition would be to add some audiovisual footage of you talking about the project (perhaps the ABC piece above or an extract from Sat's talk). Your story is such an amazing part of the feel for the project. What do you think?
    Great to meet you, and I have now put 6 August in my diary!

  2. Congratulations Louise! I saw your profile in our local paper too (Southern Courier) and realise we're even closer than I thought. We should have a tweetup soon! :-) @hollingsworth

  3. I particulary love the picture of the man with the hat and of the litle girl watching the screen....
    Congratulations for your work,


  4. Anita - Funny you should say that about the audio-visual component. Originally we intended to do exactly that but kind of ran out of steam on that one. We might still do it. But what wasn't playing on Saturday was an audio track just with sounds of the various suburbs. That should be up and running very soon. Thanks for the suggestion - seems great minds think alike!

    Tony - Thank you. A tweetup would be fun!

    Pierre - The hat man is great isn't he? I raced over to him the moment I saw him to ask if I could take his photo. And the little girl is my daughter.


  5. Pierre et Louise - Not just a "hat" but commonly referred to in 1930's Sydney as a "Pork Pie" hat, most notably worn by a young Peter Finch when frequently seen out and about as a member of a small repertory company in pre-war Darlinghurst. (So maybe a bit of "Sydney heritage" there). I know this because my mother used to go to their plays.
    Louise - Those photos of your mother (circa late 60's/very early 70's ?)are absolutely stunning, a true natural beauty.

  6. Big congratulations on a fantastic project in its many forms. You images and words have been a delight.
    I look forward to the next installment - whatever shape this takes - exciting times ahead I feel!

    Chantal A.

  7. LOVED LOVED LOVED the exhibition. Just sorry I missed the talk for reasons you mentioned.

    However this meant, I had the privilege of soaking in the exhibition while it was relatively quiet. The 'feel' of the room was beautiful. And my signed book now has pride of place.

    Thank you Louise for your gift. You've inspired me to re-visit my dreams. Felicity

  8. Dear Louise, thank you for all the wonderful images which have made me happy for over a year. Congratulations on the book, which I will get hold of as soon as I can!
    Congratulations on what looks like a marvellous exhibition - which i live too far from to visit, but am delighted to be given a peek at!

  9. Bill - Thanks for reminding me about that. Pork Pie is such a great name for a hat. And thank you, my mumma was beautiful I agree. Taken around 1968 I'd say. So she was about 32 then.

    Chantal - Thanks darlink! Sorry I didn't get around to catching up at the opening.

    Felicity - So happy you loved it. And so sorry you missed the talk. But most of all so thrilled I've inspired you to revisit your dreams!

    Elizabeth - What more could someone want than to hear that one's work has made someone happy?! Thank you for letting me know and I hope you enjoy the book.

    Louise x

  10. Congratulations and a shame that I missed the opening but it is a bit far for me to come from QLD. Never mind, I can purchase the book, can’t I?

  11. Congratulations Louise, this is so exciting for you. We move home to Sydney in a few weeks and I am so looking forward to coming to the exhibition! My book has arrived at home and is ready and waiting for me - yay!! Can't wait to see it. We are really looking forward to your next project, love your work. Stay on cloud nine, twirling and swirling as long as you can - you deserve it. Cheers and well done. Alison xx

  12. I wish I'll be able to be there one day, I 'll make sure not to miss any of the opening events :)

    you are always surprising me, marvelous


  13. wats ur next project louise xxxxxxxx

  14. I just watched the ABC STate to State and saw your interview.
    I'm taking photos of my town, Port Macquarie, and make them saleable eventually somehow. I loved your style.
    Having joined the local camera club in the last year I realise I too "have a particular style" of work. I'm focusing on landscape at the moment, not people like you have. Have just been scrolling thru a bit of your blog photos and I am keen to buy one of your books.... regards, and good luck with it all. Brenda

  15. Congratulations! As a long term blog reader and now in London so I can't make the exhibition, am so in awe of your wonderful achievement. Best wishes.

  16. Anon - Purchase away!

    Alison - Thanks so much and welcome home! I hope 52 Suburbs has given you fresh eyes for Sydney town.

    Sahar - I really hope you can make the exhibition - you've got five months before it closes.

    Ellen - Excellent question! I will be sharing my new project very soon. Stay tuned!

    Brenda - Thanks and good luck with Port Macquarie.

    Megs - Thanks so much. I love my long-termers!

    Louise x

  17. funny story
    my partner was watching tv and he called out to me "something here you'd be interested in" it was your interview on ABC
    "oh" i said, "52 suburbs"
    he looked at me...."how do you know about it?"
    "I've been subbed to the blog from the early days"

    what an accomplishment to go beyond the blog

  18. Congratulations. Looks wonderful. Can't wait to check it out :-)