Photography studio, gallery and training complex

52 Suburbs

"Clary" by Louise Hawson

I’ve been tipped off (thanks R!) about what I think is a great idea for a photography project based in Sydney, Australia (…in case you were thinking it was another Sydney).

Sydney resident Louise Hawson photographed one suburb of the city each week for a year (hence “52 Suburbs“) and presented the resulting images in the form of cleverly-coupled diptychs with appropriate slogans/titles. Her quest, she claims, was to find and photograph beauty in every district, many of which she had never previously visited.

"Spanish dancer" by Louise Hawson

Apparently the catalyst for this project was a nocturnal bite from a poisonous spider (…bear with me…) which might’ve resulted in an amputated hand, but instead caused Louise to rethink her life and career, ultimately resulting in her decision that “I’d rather eat baked beans for the rest of my life than not do the one thing that really excited me“. Hear, hear.

"A rose for the redhead" by Louise Hawson

Many of the images are taken at close range with a wide-angle lens and often a minimal depth of field. The vibrant colours and ingenious presentation makes for a fascinating and illuminating series of images. She covers it all – people, architecture, and the kind of minutiae that provides a real “feel” for each, very different, location.

"Knit one, purl one" by Louise Hawson

Of course, this kind of project might be a bit trickier here in the UK where light is pretty limited for eight months of the year and is rarely as bountiful as it is in Sydney. One wonders whether after taking one image, Louise then scoured the area for a suitable image for the other half of the diptych – or did she simply take so many photographs that it was simply a matter of pairing them up afterwards? Either way, this is a great piece of work.

See the full story at Oh, and there’s a book that looks well worth getting hold of.


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