With the snip of scissors, smell of shampoo and flicking of glossy
magazines the senses are taken into Temple Hair design, the taste
of pampering in every brush, bottle or inviting chair. Crisp use
of shutter release captures the design, ambience and thrill of a
blissful salon visit.
In itself, the very word 'beehive' conjures up a small, cosy retreat
in which people come together. With a symmetrical view, this photographer
steps into the Beehive Artspace, a recent addition to the Albury
CBD, portraying it in preparation for a hanging; the little 'bees'
at work, yet absent, as if out to lunch. Large-scale portraits draw
the eye to the sitters who, like waiting to be painted, now wait
to be viewed. Through the arch windows that the sun echoes onto
the floor, the opposite side of the street watches with muted tongue.
Wires, buttons, microphones and amplifiers reflect the concentration
in the faces behind Orbit Audio Production, who appear unaware of
the photographer's presence. Although notes declaring their absence
are brought to attention, one gets the impression that they are
in fact there, working away, not wishing to be disturbed.
Almost like the rooms of a musician's home, Rob's Music World reflect
the necessities: instruments, a heater, a chair, a clock and a window.
The sign 'To Practice' teamed with that of guitars for sale leaves
one with inspiration to learn.
Human presence is slight in the rooms of the Serendipity Relationship
Consultancy, which project a degree of solemnity, relieved only
by the sunlight that stretches hope across the floor, not quite
reaching the interview chairs. Antique furniture and virgin white
curtains almost fill a room of seemingly minimal needs, one of which
includes a box of tissues. Looking out the window down onto the
street one feels a sense of security, although ironically, the view
is of the Commercial Club, a place where people meet.
The soothing gentleness of touch generates stress relief through
the rooms in Hands On Health. Years of study are reflected on a
wall of merit, compassion in aromatherapy, and comfort in piles
of folded soft towels. Apparatus appears daunting, yet calmed through
the presence of gentle fingers at work.
Shown in its previous vacancy, the Red Cross store takes us into
the mind of an empty room. Like a puppy in a box it watches passers
by, wondering who will claim it. An electricity disconnection notice
renders isolation and darkness throughout every image, further portrayed
through people coming and going through the nameless doors. Flowers
left behind on the floor sit adjacent to a sign no longer in use.
The knowledge that the space is now fuelled by charity adds colour
to the images.
Rooms that echo hard work are shown in the Temptations Café.
Absent of workers, they reveal the long hours spent to cater
the demanding clientele. It is the end of a long day. Above
the polished tile floor, gloves hang on a rack ready for the
chores, and a light switch awaits the dark. It seems the only
job left is to wipe the smudged chalk on the sign in preparation
the morning pavement.
A room reflecting the art-deco era is redefined when placed next
to a selection of optometry tools. Inside Joy English's Optometrist,
the viewer looks down onto the busy hand of a worker, sterilizing
equipment for use. Like that of the Serendipity series, use of light
portrays hope as it projects onto the wall.
These compelling, delicate works show an appreciation for a street
that has become but a commonality in the everyday lives of Albury
residents. As a main street, it is subject to stereotypical views,
as is any other. In documenting a community, these photographers
have redefined Dean Street. They have stepped back, forward, or
walked around their subjects, shedding new light on the many shop
fronts that we so often scuttle by. Like a chapter in a book, we
can only look forward to more.