A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Category: Photography

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?

STREETSCAPES // double bay

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Double Bay is well known as a stylish suburb with luxury boutiques and a fashionable café scene. It’s easy to get distracted by this, but if you venture a little further you discover the lovely tree-lined streets and grand homes. Heading down to the water you can see how the bay forms this section of Sydney Harbour, where you can admire the uninterrupted harbour and city skyline views. With a picturesque harbourside beach and the classic charm of the cottage-like sailing club you feel transported to another time. The waves lapping the shore drown out the bustle of the city and you can simply sit on the jetty while enjoying the tranquility…

STREETSCAPES // woolloomooloo

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Woolloomooloo is an inner-city area that has undergone major redevelopment in recent years. This has transformed its historic working-class past to a modern harbourside hub with an array of options in the arts, dining and culture. An urban pocket that still retains plenty of character with charming old apartments and warehouses in an eclectic mix of styles. Crossing over different eras in architecture creating an interesting diversity that reflects the heritage of Sydney and its evolution.

STREETSCAPES // newtown

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The creative spirit and individuality of Newtown is still expressed by the locals even through the urban sprawl and development in the area. The demographics may have changed in part, but the artistic and eccentric side of the community is clearly visible. Street art such as the Martin Luther King ‘I have a dream’ mural on King Street is of course a landmark, but there are many more artworks in the back streets and alleys. I particularly adore how residents have reflected this originality in their houses. Whether they are converting old shop fronts into homes, or decorating the exterior and entry to reflect their style. It’s always inspiring to walk these streets as there is always something new to see.

STREETSCAPES // bondi to coogee

 

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Or maybe I should call this post coastscapes? There are plenty of great sights on the streets of these beachside suburbs, but it’s still the beautiful coastline that always steals the show for me.

I feel so grateful that I can regularly take the Bondi to Coogee Walk and it still takes my breath away, especially on a clear winter’s day. Walking down to Bondi and pausing at Bondi Icebergs to take in the stunning views of North Bondi through to Bondi Baths. Then it’s onward with the 6km path through the carved cliffs of Tamarama until reaching Bronte with its picturesque beach and great cafés.

The coastal walk continues to Clovelly which feels entirely different again – for me it’s reminiscent of a European beach situated in a bay surrounded by rocky ridges. Getting back to nature through the lush vegetation revealing the secluded Gordon’s Bay with crystal clear, aqua blue waters. It’s no surprise that this is a protected aquatic reserve and also has an underwater trail, making it a popular dive spot. Reluctant to leave this pristine paradise but the final destination is Coogee which is the quintessential Sydney scene. It has all the makings of a classic with the gorgeous beach and historic ocean baths, within proximity of the promenade with an assortment of restaurants and hotels.

The path keeps going all the way to Maroubra but it’s time to stop and take it all in (feeling very blessed to live here). I also have to summon the energy to walk all the way back home!

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