New South Wales

Authorised By

Authorised By

We’re coming up on a federal election in Australia; so it’s safe to say some people are on edge.

But it’s hard to discern left from right out on the streets - unless they’re standing next to a sign in a t-shirt, handing out ‘how to vote’ cards, of course.

Will we continue on the conservative path that’s seen three prime ministers (and two deputy prime ministers) in the past six years? Or return to a more liberal - though that word means something else, here, as the Liberal party are the conservatives - some would say progressive, considerate way of running the country…?

Shock, Recognition

Shock, Recognition

What does it take to recognise someone you know?

I wonder sometimes about this - about how little information you could be given about someone, and still know them; from a description, a sound, a gesture they always use, a certain way of doing things.

And it’s what I find I miss about people when they’re gone, too…

Common Wealth

Common Wealth

You hear a lot about ‘common wealth’, here: this is, after all, the Commonwealth of Australia - which is part of the Commonwealth of Nations (along with Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and many former British territories around the globe). We have a Commonwealth Bank, with branches everywhere, and Commonwealth St is just a few blocks from where I live and work in Sydney.

I like to imagine that all of this adds up to something, that the principles of the country are that good fortune is to be shared; and yet what we see more and more isn’t a collection of boats rising with the tide.

Home Thoughts From Abroad

Home Thoughts From Abroad

It’s funny sometimes, living in my third home country.

My first home was Canada; I grew up there, studied, worked in theatre, then took a ‘one year working holiday’ to come to Australia - which became a fifteen-year side trip to New Zealand. Six years ago today, I found myself back in Sydney, which has turned slowly into home, too.

Once in a while though, I’ll catch sight of something, or there’ll be a story on the news; and the feeling of those places will return…

The Race That Stops A Nation

The Race That Stops A Nation

The first Tuesday in November is something of a sacred day, in Australia; it’s the Melbourne Cup. Offices close for the afternoon, staff hold betting pools, and nothing gets done while the nation watches.

Of course, things happen outside Australia too - but, with the date line, US elections land on a Wednesday for us; and for some of us, they get in the way of work even more than the horses did…

18 October 2018 at 5:32 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

18 October 2018 at 5:32 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

Really, photography is about the questions we ask ourselves as we’re deciding what to photograph.

My background’s in theatre; and the key questions I ask myself when I see a production (or decide to work on one) are these: “Why this? Why here? Why now?”

By which I mean, why this story, at this time, in this place - what particular, specific resonance does a show bring to an audience? We interpret everything in the context we experience it; so what is it, in particular, that makes the script relevant right now, to the people of this place? The answer isn’t always obvious; and, sometimes, the context arrives just as the show hits the stage…

11 October 2018 at 7:35 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

11 October 2018 at 7:35 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

Sydney’s a city.

Sure, there’s a harbour, there are beaches, there’s the Opera House - but there’s also all the things that come with a large population trying to coexist on a small amount of land.

Traffic, construction, development - history getting plowed under for renewal and development, with little pockets saved by determined campaigning that, once in a while, succeeds in protecting the past…

4 October 2018 at 4:21 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

4 October 2018 at 4:21 pm (Surry Hills, Australia)

Personally, I’ve never been a fan. Of going out in the rain, of getting wet, I mean.

Swimming is fine - that’s different. It’s the sogginess, the smell of wet clothes, the waiting for your jeans to dry while you’re still in them.

But I have to admit, I quite enjoy photographing it…

25 July 2018 at 10:07 am (Darlinghurst, Australia)

25 July 2018 at 10:07 am (Darlinghurst, Australia)

It's nearly time. We're going soon.

I'm backing up. Packing up. Hitting the road, the rails, the sky - these are our last hours in Australia, and my mind is already ahead of us; even while the things around us are familiar, in my head we're in Toronto…

Waypoints

Waypoints

Surry Hills, my suburb in Sydney, is a bit different to everywhere I've lived before.

The history of this area is much more visible, in the buildings and streets that surround me every day; and being so close to the centre of Sydney means I spend much more of my time walking from place to place, spotting little details that haven't changed in a hundred years or more.

So my mental map of this city, built up over the last five years of living here, is based on these markers, these waypoints - the old church, the loading dock, the grocer - that tell me how far it is home, where to turn, which block this is…