I love where we live.
I love the streets tightly packed with their terrace houses, front gardens oozing frangipani flowers in summer, fences dripping with jasmines through spring, and footpaths lined with jacaranda purple haze. I love the fact you can leave the street fronts of manicured houses [and the not so manicured], step away behind the facades, and enter the world of back alleys and laneways.
A world where rubbish bins line up as sentinels on specific days of the week, and disband the rest of the week into haphazard disarray. Where old tv's and tables stack up waiting to be collected, mattresses going mouldy, cardboard boxes rotting. I love that today we found a bird's nest in the middle of the lane on our way to school and it was still there when we returned in the afternoon. It's a scene of abandonment. Disgruntled chaos which forms the fabric of inner city living.
What I love the most, though, is the graffiti. Back walls sprayed with colour and black and white signs. Grit. Dirt. And in amongst it all council supported and funded graffiti art emblazened across large fronts of wall space - glorious colour and rhythm, plastic gloss colour, intense desire to communicate. My favourites - the white walls gone murky with dirt and age, a conglomoration of drawing, tags, writing, message and picture layered upon each other, mixed in with black and white photocopy paper. Graphic and bold. A splash of red to break it up.
I've spent today in the back streets. First with Pia doing some test shots, capturing that wonderful stark light of overcast mornings that I really love to photograph in. And second, with Max's school year, photographing them all for their year book in full bright sun which makes saturated colour explode. Something I'm not used to, but have run with completely today.
I've been spending time with them over the last week, capturing their classes on camera, their play, doing portrait sessions with them, and finally, a fantastic time in the back laneways creating something really special, bursting with colour and life and bigger than all of us - the perfect parting gift I can give these amazing children as they finish at this school, and move on to other schools next year. It's been wonderful spending time behind a camera, watching them through my lens'. They all know me, have spent time with me in reading groups and on play dates after school, but it's different to have a mother come in with a camera pointed at them for something specific. Slowly they are loosening up, becoming less shy, letting me capture them.
And I am so enjoying doing this with them. And I really [really] hope the parents appreciate the time and love which has gone into the shots I've taken, particularly today, and embrace the warmth and creative spirit these children bring to the photos.