Friday 7 December 2012

About a Sydney Summer


My name is Jo and I hope you enjoy this visual journal about a city I’ve lived in most of my life. My photographer partner Peter will join me in taking photographs during the Sydney summer of 2012/ 2013 and I aim to write about the events and people we come across along the way.

Every place has its seasonal rhythms and Sydney is no exception. In December it starts with ‘silly season’, when workers slacken off and hop from one pre-Christmas catch up to another. There’s the last minute crush for presents in shopping malls like Westfield. On Christmas Eve there’s a slow crawl in the car to the Pyrmont Fish Market for prawns and shellfish to grace the next day’s platter. The big day itself is usually spent with family. It passes in a sticky hot whir of tacky wrapping paper, crackers that fail to bang and too much food. If you’re a backpacker, you’ll head for Bondi Beach.
Boxing Day heralds the mass exodus to the north or south coast, start of the summer sales and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, where families vie for viewing space along Sydney’s harbour headlands and cliff tops. After this, it’s beach, barbeque and cricket, with a chorus of cicadas. Oh, and in there too will be the jam to Sydney’s foreshores to see the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

After a week, two weeks, there will be the gradual drift to work. Australia Day will be its usual laconic, slightly awkward celebration and by the end of January the kids will be back at school, days will be shorter, and life will resume its normal shape.
So this is a Sydney summer, right? Well, yes and no. I’m aware this is very much an Anglo view of things, a view tracked by and delivered to us by the media. So I’m going out to investigate. With Pete, I want to take images that capture this brash, shy, beautiful, mucky, culturally complex metropolis. Yes, we will record the typical events in well -known places. We are also after the stories and images that get underneath Sydney’s shiny skin and build a richer sense of place and connection.

If you have a favourite place in Sydney or an interesting story to tell, please send us a line. We'd like to hear from you.

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