The Changing Face of Melbourne

Last weekend I walked from a small carpark west of the CBD to the Yarra river at Spencer Street. A distance of about 2.6 kilometres one way. All up 5.1 kms return.

Upon my return I noticed an electricity tower was partially dismantled. I returned 5 days later and it has been completely removed. This view of the western edge of the CBD now clearly visible from the edge of the Moonee Ponds Creek, only because of the removed tower. I have other pictures in my archive on digital and film from this location.

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Photography, in Summer, in Melbourne Australia.

Western Edge of Melbourne's CBD, on an overcast Saturday morning.
Truck Parking Bay on the western fringes of the CBD, 2021-01-30 @ 10:38:20 on an overcast Saturday morning.
Photography  often takes a back seat in January for me. Summer photography has been prolific this year for me though.
The weather continues to be overcast in the mornings. This is somewhat unusual here in Melbourne, in January. I decided to get out and exploit this on Saturday. I went looking for spots to make pictures in and around the infrastructure projects going on. Close to home.
 
This truck holding bay is a favourite of mine due to its location and topography. You can see the CBD easily and in the right conditions make some good pictures of Melbourne.
 
The blue screens on the Citylink off ramp are the only clue that construction is underway. All the action is behind me here.  I wandered west with my ‘Blad and made a few pictures of some of the works going on. As I have yet to process this film it remains to be seen if I was successful.
 
At least I have some record of the changes that are occurring. This forms a major motivation behind what I am focusing on these days.

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Post Covid Exploring?

The View East from the new bridge in Laverton over Dohertys' Road
The View East from the new Cycling bridge on the Federation Trail in Laverton over Dohertys’ Road

This view did not exist in 2019. I can’t remember the last time I drove along Dohertys road.

I am standing on a bridge built for cyclists that forms part of the federation trail. I’m not quite certain when it was completed. Google maps most recent picture of this part of Dohertys road is from 2019. The new bridge forms part of the larger infrastructure works going on around the Westgate. The works are affecting the peripheral and arterial roads that run off it. This trail will allow cyclists to ride from Werribee to the city. It crosses Dohertys’ road a dual carriageway arterial road.

As I had not had a chance to really explore this part of Melbourne since we had spent so much time in lockdown last year. I decided to investigate several areas nearby that I know would have altered radically.

Dohertys road used to be a single lane arterial road. Given the real estate in this part of Laverton there would have been many many large trucks using this road. It is now a dual lane road which no doubt means the numbers will increase. Melbourne’s cyclists can now cross this road safely using this bridge.

The weather on the day I was there proved to be almost perfect for photography. Unusual for Melbourne in January. I suspect this will be a regular location now.

This approach to finding locations underpins my work. Not being able to wander and just follow my nose while we were in lockdown was stifling to say the least. At least it means there will be plenty more surprises waiting for me; all within a 10 minute drive from my house.

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Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today is a series of pictures I blogged on both my old WordPress blog, and my old blogger blog.  I now also use tumblr as a separate standalone platform.

I continue this idea here on this blog, when it suits me.

This picture I made 10 years ago today on the 22-11-2020. It was part of a series I was exploring at the time, that looked at light and time. The project shifted focus when we renovated our home, and I picked it up from a different angle with a different set of parameters.

2010-11-22 19:52:52 from the facing north series
2010-11-22 19:52:52 from the facing north series

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Processed using Luminar 4.. If you use this link to purchase Luminar 4, I get some benefits.

Meanwhile on Flickr…

Sunshine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2020-10-31 08:55:52

I’m testing my new iPhone 12, here’s a result posted on flickr.


Processed using Luminar 4.. If you use this link to purchase Luminar 4, I get some benefits.

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Vernacular Housing?

 Vernacular Housing in Sunshine
Typical Vernacular Housing in Sunshine

A week or so ago, I made some pictures of the houses in Wright Street Sunshine that may disappear in the next few years. With one empty block and 2 for sale signs in a strip of a dozen or so house this makes for some big changes afoot. What I neglected to mention or perhaps didn’t recognise was that most of these buildings follow a similar style and appearance. I’m guessing that at some point a government agency was involved with these house’s construction.

Map of the inner west showing the site of the former RAAF base.
Former RAAF base in Tottenham marked in red, in relation to my house on the extreme left.

Thirty years ago there was an active RAAF base on a site that is now light industry and shopping centre a couple of Kilometres down the road. The site was sold to private developers in 1983(1)

There are some existing buildings of a similar style near the old site and they share similar characteristics to the ones I photographed in Wright Street. The common denominators that connect them are the materials. Fibre Cement is common. Small footprint and tiled roofs others.

The current formula that seems to be being applied to these old buildings, is the old houses are demolished. Then if the site permits several small units are built in their place. While these new units are dotted around the suburb, the danger of a homogeneous streetscape looms large.

Given that Wright Street is an arterial road then I doubt there may be that much new development going up. Keeping an eye on planning permits and council notifications will enable me to track these changes. Thereby producing a meaningful record of the suburb as it changes.

Footnotes

(1) Moca, P. 2015, Forty years ago May 28, 1975 Sunshine’s town clerk, Mr Bill Deutschmann,…[Derived Headline], Airport West, Vic.

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Some West Suburban Bungalows

In 1966, Ed Ruscha photographed ‘Every building on the Sunset Strip‘ in Los Angeles. It became a book and the original is highly sought after. I have seen the copy the NGV has in its collection. Such a simple and elegant idea. The book is one long accordion type book. It is small but intriguing. I have attempted my own version of the idea twice now. Once in Yarraville with a small stretch of houses that have since been demolished, for the Regional Rail Link. The ‘album’ is on flickr it is entitled Buckley Street Seddon. It took  approximately 40 minutes to make those pictures.

I did the same recently, only this time I walked along Wright Street, Sunshine, from Stanford Street to Hampshire Road.

64 Wright Street, Sunshine
64 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
66 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
68 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
70 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
72 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
74 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
76 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
78 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
80 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
82 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
84 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
86 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
88 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
90 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
92 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine
94 Wright Street, Sunshine

I started at the Stanford street and walked West, the numbers on that side of the street are even numbers. I excluded the corner houses. The photography component took all of 20 minutes.

There was one empty block primed and ready for redevelopment. And two other blocks with for sale signs on them. Big changes are indeed afoot. What form shape or size they will take remains to be seen I guess?

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This week on flickr

Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2013-06-21 14:31:39
Docklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. 2013-06-21 14:31:39

This view has gone. More residential and office space has filled the small green space left in this obscure pocket of Melbourne. I made this picture in June 2013. The World Trade Centre building is gone as well. The famous statue, Bunjil is slated to be moved from Wurundjeri Way to an as yet decided location.
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Walking & Photography [Online Exhibition]

screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson
screengrab from the exhibtion organsied by Gary Sauer-Thompson

The response to the pandemic in the arts industry has been overwhelmingly positive. SALA is running its entire festival through artists websites this year. I have been very fortunate in that Gary Sauer-Thompson via his studio in Encounter Bay invited me to exhibit with an idea that explored the pandemic. The online exhibition is entitled, ‘Walking/Photography’, its premise is simple:-

“The exhibition explores the interrelationships between these two modes of being-in-the-world. The ethos is to go for a walk in your local area, where you can find what you don’t know you are looking for. It is a step into the photographic unknown that uncovers the forgotten or buried history of the area.”

The ‘exhibtion’ opens on the 1st of August and runs until the 30th of September.

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