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52 Suburbs by Louise Hawson

Reviewed by Gillian, Berkelouw Books, Mona Vale

Louise Hawson is an inspiring person who, in 2009-2010, produced a blog, that grew into an exhibition and finally blossomed into a beautiful book.

Her project was to visit a new Sydney suburb every week for a year and to photograph the people, places and objects that interested her. Her particular skill is to display her photographs in pairs, diptychs, that bring out more than the individual images themselves. She has created an extraordinary portrait of Sydney.

This photographer is drawn to period styling, whether it be the lettering on an old apartment block, a patch of tiling or the fin of a car. She creates little studies of the decorations people fix to their bodies - patterned shoes and stockings, jewellery, hennaed hands, piercings and tattoos are all captured. She can find shady, peaceful places - a verandah where two elderly people chat, a mosque, temple or church, a garden or a pool. She captures plentiful displays of food from many different cultures and kids everywhere at their games on the street, on the beach or in a park.

52 Suburbs is a fantastic pictorial guide to our city showing the great and complex sprawl behind the glittering harbour and its famous monuments.

The author is now embarked on a new project, 52 Suburbs Around the World, and has posted her first blogs from Hong Kong.

I will follow her travels keenly. You can too. Just go to 52suburbs.com and sign up. It's free!

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