A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Category: Photography

STREETSCAPES // industrial pyrmont

Pyrmont was home to the Eora people but soon became an industrial hub as Sydney grew as a colony. Originally established as a sandstone quarry until more industries were introduced such as a sugar refinery. During this expansion many warehouses were built to house these businesses. In the 1800’s, the suburb was also densely populated due to the local workers living in the lovely terraces you can still see today.

Darling Island Bond & Free Store is a beautiful brick structure that has fallen into disrepair. This site began as the Australian Thermite Company Pty Ltd and was roughly built in the early 1900’s. Thermite was a metal oxide mix used for welding, commonly on trains and rail tracks in that period. It changed occupants a couple of decades later and you can still see the faded signage with the painted lettering for Bond & Free Store.

Arrow Marine building was designed by Sydney Harbour Trust’s Chief Engineer, H D Walsh, who changed the face of the harbour waterfront at the time. It was built in 1917, at the same time as the adjacent wharves and was used as a dockside garage and facility for the workmen. This significant building is important as it shows early 20th century design as well as being functional. It is also the only known surviving wharf structure of its type in Sydney with the original timber gable.

In the last decade this area has had major redevelopment with high rise apartment blocks changing the historic landscape. Luckily there are still some traces of this rich history and while some sites have heritage protection, my biggest fear is that more buildings like these will be lost in the future.

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DEAR DIARY // winter blues

I have a confession and I know I’m going to sound like a typical Sydneysider, but I’m not a fan of winter – AT ALL. It’s only the beginning of the season but I’m already dreaming of warmer climes. While sitting at home drinking endless cups of coffee by the heater, I’m transported to Mykonos having cocktails on the beach. When walking in the rain past this aqua apartment block in Bondi, I’m strolling under the sun among the pastel buildings in Miami. I’ll just have to play out these illusions until I work out a lifestyle where I can travel the world enjoying an endless summer.

STREETSCAPES // the rocks

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Being a local in Sydney you can sometimes take the beauty of the city for granted. When I recently spent a day playing tourist it opened my eyes again. The Rocks has heritage elements everywhere with sandstone walls chiselled by convicts and cobbled laneways once frequented by settlers, sailors and soldiers. You can picture what life must have been like over 200 years ago by exploring the heritage buildings and some of the oldest pubs in Australia.

This historic precinct is a colourful mix of the past and present, with plenty to see and do. Food festivals are held here regularly, but new bars and restaurants are adding to the cultural scene. While the weekly markets, art galleries and museums have always made it a creative hub. It’s a great spot to wander around, make discoveries and have a history lesson while having fun along the way.

 

DEAR DIARY // spring has sprung

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There’s nothing like the changing of seasons to give that sense of renewal and inspiration. While I can appreciate the cooler months, I am definitely more of a warm weather lover. Spring is here for the southern hemisphere with the smell of blooming flowers, pretty sorbet skies and clear days. It feels like a good time to not only spring clean the home but also the mind, body and spirit!

STREETSCAPES // paddington

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Paddington is best known for its architectural heritage and conservation with street after street of restored early Victorian terrace houses. This inner-city area was originally considered a slum like so many suburbs in Sydney. Decade after decade the changing face of Paddington and its residents has moved with the times – from the working-class to the migrants then the hippies and students until its gentrification.

It always maintained its unique historical and aesthetic appeal but really started to evolve in the 1980s and 1990s as a cool, creative hub. Young designers set up boutique stores along with the artisan weekend markets making it a popular shopping destination. A string of clubs and bars attracted the hip crowd so there was always an exciting energy. I hold many fond memories during this era so it was a shame that this vibe changed drastically over the last few years. Thankfully it seems to be having a resurgence so I’m hoping that it can get back to its heyday.

DEAR DIARY // shelter book party

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I have followed the work of photographer/stylist Kara Rosenlund and have always admired her creative eye. She captures the beauty of her subject with a simple aesthetic yet with a complex depth.

As an adventurer she travelled the country and documented her finds in the beautiful book ‘Shelter: How Australians Live’. Showcasing Australian houses in all their diversity with the traditional beach shacks, homesteads and sheep stations. Then there’s the unique homes converted from shipping containers and even a tram!

The author celebrated with a book tour including a photographic exhibition and pop-up shop. I attended the Sydney party which was a lovely experience of being immersed into a rural landscape right in the middle of the city. Kara’s inspirational speech ended with a spontaneous laugh from a nearby kookaburra – how Australian is that?

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