52 Suburbs by Louise Hawson

A bookish observation

My impression of a Sydney Writers Festival Event 2011

The auditorium at The Mint, one of Sydney’s early historic colonial buildings, was full to capacity when Robbie Buck bounced up on the stage. I didn’t know who he was but he seemed full of confidence, bright and energetic. He was followed closely by the author, Louise Hawson. Once seated in the comfortable lounge chairs, waiting for them on the stage, they commenced a conversation that immediately put a focus on what it was that motivated Louise to photograph the suburbs of Sydney, one each week for 52 weeks and blog the results.

52 Suburbs by Louise Hawson 640x360
The Mint - Historic Building - Sydney- March 2011 - 640x360

The results were so popular, Louise knew she “had” something. A publisher suggested a book could prove to be successful and it was.

Prior to the event starting, interesting images were projected onto the large screen. The paired diptych images seemed to be at once unrelated but yet somehow in harmony.  At first you could see that the two images, projected together, corresponded to each other because their pallet matched and so too did the atmosphere.  It was when Louise described how and why each image was placed next to the other, along with a one-liner comment, that it became obvious she had a special talent for photography and most importantly she had an emotional intuitive imagination that gave her the ability to match two seemingly unrelated images into harmonious pairings.

Louise told her story well, the audience seemed to be completely captivated by her presentation.  It was a story about someone following their heart. She followed her heart and went out every week with her camera, taking photos, digitally processing them and then writing up her blog and responding to the people commenting. She chose to do what she loved without knowing if it would lead to anything. She worked hard. Her journey eventually led to recognition and commissions. Well done!

Her blog can be found at: www.52suburbs.com where you’ll be able to see some of her wonderful photographs.


This blog was written by Diane Challenor
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