This 1936 is a little out of the ordinary. I like its hand-drawn qualities—the variation in the thickness of the strokes, the way the tapering 1 works with the stylised 9 so that together they have a design aesthetic while still being legible.
There’s a shop in Queenscliff, Victoria, that has an enticing walk-through entrance full of overgrown plants in aged moss-covered terracotta pots. It’s the kind of courtyard garden I would love to be able to cultivate, but lack the particular type of green thumb that allows selective neglect to metamorphose into a harmonious, established mess of leaves. The courtyard walls are covered in ivy that has extended around the corner to take over this apartment block, transforming the very ordinary bricks and signage. I particularly like the way the letters appear to be emerging from their camouflage.
This sandstone block was part of the building that occupied the corner of Pitt and Little George Streets, Sydney, between 1860 and 1916. The building was demolished in 1916 and its facade was rebuilt in Mentmore Avenue as part of the Rosebery Model and Industrial Suburb—a planned housing estate providing detached housing close to industrial employment sites. When the building was reconstructed the original L-shaped facade was straightened, and although some of the original detail was lost in the relocation, much of it, including this ground-level rusticated sandstone detailing, was retained.
There was nothing special about the shoe shop, but the illustration on the awning brought a touch of lightness to an overcast sultry afternoon. This row of feet is so expressive! Here they are, lined up and ready to step out to the local dance hall to shake a leg, tango and two-step, jitterbug and charleston, jive and mambo. What I like most is how a small touch like this speaks volumes: the illustration itself imparts personality, but more importantly, someone has paid attention to detail, and as a result the everyday is enhanced.
The NSW town of Walcha is quite a surprise. For a place with a population of around only 1600 it has a rich history: sheep farming, cedar, gold and slate mining for starters. In 1950 a Tiger Moth was the first aircraft to spread superphosphate in Australia. More recently Walcha Telecottage was established, which aids interaction between local communities with job training, education and internet services, and also produces the Apsley Advocate, a free and widely distributed weekly newsletter. Walcha has significant buildings, significant natural beauty, significant flora and fauna, notable sports people and artists, and a swag of OAM-awarded residents. And if that’s not enough, there are 41 pieces of open-air art around town! The sculptures are outstanding, and I was particularly taken with this figurative work, by Tom Deko, made from oil drums.