Images | Space and City

It doesn’t matter how long you live in a city, you can never fully comprehend it.  In his book about Sydney, the writer Peter Carey said,

‘If you can confidently say you know a city, you are probably talking about a town.  A metropolis is, by definition, inexhaustible …’  (p 10)

Walking around a city—our own city, a strange city—we experience a sense a spatial and temporal fracturing.  Even if we know a place well it is easy to lose our orientation.  A bridge closes; a pathway is barred; a favourite café shuts its doors; an office block is demolished; another is built on vacant land.

Stories, memories, history, movement: all defined by time and space.

Here, yesterday.  A century ago, there.  A year from now, the fortieth floor.  A second ago, on the bridge.

What was; what is; what will be.

It is always complex and changing.  It opens the possibility of surprise and serendipity.

My photographs are city photographs; my words are city words.  They are made in an attempt to understand, in a small and personal way, the richness of this experience.

And it is in images that the notion of ‘urbanality’ can best be demonstrated.

The photographs on these pages are arranged into ‘projects’, with each having something in common.  There may be similarities in the ideas explored, in the subjects photographed, in their formal composition and aesthetic qualities, in the locations where they are shot.

The things that tie them together may be obvious, they may be elusive.   But there will certainly be connections of some sort between them, because making these connections, categorising objects into similar types, is one of the things that make us human.

There are things that link all cities and all urban areas, but a great many things that make them different.

Cities | Projects takes a cross-city and cross-cultural approach, looking at similarities and differences across a number of cities.

Cities | Places looks at the spaces, textures, sights, colours that make each city unique.


Text and Images © Stuart Peel 2015

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