Tag Archives: Sydney

Street kids, Woolloomooloo, 1962

Street kids, Chapel Street, Woolloomoloo, Sydney, 1962 © Rob Walls 2013

Street kids, Chapel Street, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, 1962 © Rob Walls 2013

I made this picture 51 years ago, when Woolloomooloo was an inner-city slum of dubious reputation. Only a few metres away was the infamous red light area of illegal brothels, Chapel Lane. The poster for Vincent’s APC on the wall above the children, is of somewhat curious historic interest. Vincent’s along with Bex powders,were highly addictive analgesics containing aspirin, phenacetin and caffeine, When it was found that they caused serious kidney damage they were taken off the market in 1970.

“Time eventually positions most photographs, even the most amateurish, at the level of art.”
― Susan Sontag

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Some postcards from Sydney…

Southward bound now. Some postcards from one of my favourite Australian cities…

 

Lower Market Street. © Rob Walls 2010

Circular Quay © Rob Walls 2010

5.15pm Friday, George Street © Rob Walls 2010

Ugg! It's a job ® Rob Walls 2010

Castlereagh Street © Rob Walls 2010

King Street © Rob Walls 2010

 

 

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Arts Freedom Australia protest rally, Sunday, August 29th

I live in Tasmania, and am grateful that the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service takes the liberal approach that it does in recognising the symbiotic relationship between photographers and landscape, by giving professional photographers the freedom to photograph in our national parks. This state was blessed with two of the best wilderness photographers in Olegas Truchanas who in turn was a mentor to Peter Dombrovskis. Coincidentally, both died pursuing their craft in the wilderness they loved.

On Sunday, 29th August at Campbells Cove in Sydney there will be a demonstration against Parks Australia’s  iniquitous laws that restrict professional photography at sites such as Uluru and Kakadu. The demonstration is organised by Arts Freedom Australia.

More information here: http://www.artsfreedomaustralia.com/blog/?p=194

More coverage on Google News: http://tinyurl.com/37x9cf8

Coverage of the protest in the Sydney Morning Herald: http://tinyurl.com/23mxcno

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Urban postcards…

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Though I live on an island renowned for its scenic beauty, I’ve always found the built environment more inspiring than nature. You can take a boy out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the boy, I guess. These are just a few of my favourite urban views from Sydney, New York, Penang, Hobart, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Amsterdam.

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Melbourne…wear anything as long as its black…

This week The Economist voted Melbourne the world’s third most liveable city in the world, narrowly beaten by Vancouver and Vienna. The Melbourne newspapers have run hot with the news, mainly with the emphasis that the city beat Sydney, which  had to share ninth place with Zurich. As far as I can tell, the Melbourne/Sydney rivalry is only in the mind of Melbournites. Sydney, blessed with its magnificent harbour, draped with the arch of the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House,  doesn’t even have to try.

The blogs and newspaper commentaries have been running even hotter with commentary, for and against, mostly from Melbourne residents. Those against complain about the transport system; those for, seem to place a rather strange emphasis on the quality of Melbourne coffee. It’s as though they believe urban sophistication can be attributed to the quality of the bean roast and the skill of its baristas. Is this why Vienna beat them on the leader board?

One particular commentator, wrote this:

“I call Melbourne BLACK, BLAND MELBOURNE. Just walk into the city whether winter or summer and all you see is men and particularly women dressed in black. Go into a department store or any restaurant or any shop for that matter and every employee is wearing black. Boring and bland. Go to Paris and women wear all colours, hardly any funeral black. So Melbourne needs to brighten up.”

This prompted me to dive to my picture files. I was in Melbourne two weeks ago and took these picture. I love Melbourne, it’s a bright, colourful city, but that writer is right, there is a pre-occupation amongst its inhabitants to wear black. If only Melburnians would learn to relax…but it must be hard when you are continually being pumped with all that caffiene…

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A happy (and gay) New Year

In the very first hour of 1983, I was heading home from a party along Sydney’s Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. It had been pretty boring party and I hate the forced and false bonhomie of such occasions.

As soon as the New Year chimed in the party crowd were either heading home or mostly on to the next party. Walking home along the main thoroughfare (Oxford Street) between Paddington and Surry Hills, I decided to shoot some pictures of the revellers on the street. This stretch of Oxford Street is colloquially known as The Gay Mile. The mood was bouyant and friendly and for gay males 1982-83 must have been the International Year of the Mustache. When these three men in drag, with half a case of beer under arm, mugged for my camera I just had to respond.

Whenever anyone invites me to take a picture, I never refuse and these uninhibited men with their mad hair and their laddered fishnet tights were much too good a subject to pass up. A few months later this picture ran in the weekly news magazine, The Bulletin, under the headline “Gay plague hits Sydney”. In my mind it symbolised the deathknell of carefree sex in the gay community.

Oxford Street, Sydney, New Year, 1983

Oxford Street, Sydney, New Year, 1983

1 am, January 1st 1983, Oxford Street, Sydney

1 am, January 1st 1983, Oxford Street, Sydney

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