From the photographer behind the acclaimed Westography
The sentiment that flows through these images is a balm to the knowledge that time is passing and things will change — William McInnes.
Warren Kirk's photos will strike a chord with anyone who's grown up in the Australian suburbs in the past 50 years. Somehow both achingly familiar and unimaginably strange, these luminous images continue his 30-year project of documenting a way of life that is slowly disappearing, along with the people who lived it.
Taken with loving attention and considerable skill, and with the utmost respect for the people and places that appear in them, Kirk's photos of shops and houses, of gardens and lounge-rooms, of people surrounded by the things they love, are beautifully evocative and powerfully nostalgic.
‘Kirk’s imagery is strikingly evocative, at times achingly nostalgic, and at others unexpected and strange as he moves between ’50s-era kitchens in Ringwood, hair salons in Murrumbeena, elaborate Brunswick backyards and empty grocery stores in Northcote. It’s a beautiful and stoic collection of time-weathered workplaces, cars and faces; a study in forgotten typography; and a chronicle of buildings that gentrification forgot – or just hasn’t discovered yet.’
Ellen Fraser, Broadsheet Melbourne
View all reviews
‘Warren Kirk's photos will strike a chord with anyone who's grown up in the Australian suburbs in the past 50 years … Taken with loving attention and considerable skill, and with the utmost respect for the people and places that appear in them, Kirk's photos of shops and houses, of gardens and lounge-rooms, of people surrounded by the things they love, are evocative and nostalgic.’
‘In Suburbia, antiquated barbershops and vacant shopfronts rub up against the kitsch and the colourful in a collection that invites the eye to drift through suburbs from all points of the Melbourne compass.’
‘I was instantly in awe of his ability to distil oft overlooked scenes of our vast city. These vignettes of life in the ‘burbs illicit a distinct sense of nostalgia.’
The Design Files
‘Part archivist, part archaeologist, Kirk is motivated by a desire to bring hidden beauty to the fore and, in doing so, stop it from being lost forever.’
‘From the dingy Chinese takeaway, the quirkily clipped hedges and formica tables, to the cluttered speciality stores and faded weatherboard, Kirk’s photographs are so vivid you can practically smell the fried food, lawn clippings and motel-room mustiness wafting off the page.’
Sally Pryor, The Canberra Times
‘His new book, Suburbia, is full of quirky finds.’
Ross Bilton, Weekend Australia
‘His new collection of photos, Suburbia, is affectionate but precise, and documents a community in evolution. The sentiment that flows through his image is a balm to the knowledge that time is passing and things will change. These photos are luminous and incandescent, like a light bulb burning brightest just before the element goes.’
William McInnes, Assemble Papers
‘What she [Kim Walvisch] and Kirk are creating is an archive of how Melbourne once looked. What that picture will look like in another decade or two is anyone’s guess. For Kirk it is about documenting a particular reality but it’s also creating objects of beauty.’
Kerrie O’Brien, The Saturday Age