A long-term resident of the inner west, photographer David Urquhart’s incredible collection of work spans many decades and countless locations – Europe in the 70s; protest rallies in the 90s; Sydney’s queer culture; underground warehouse parties; and an enduring fascination with water, from crashing surf to figures reflected in rain-slicked streets.
Each series has a melancholy attached to it, suffused with gentle beauty. Fragile decay next to tentative growth, an empty street paired up with bustling crowds, architectural lines alongside nature’s curves – the artist’s fascination with the world he encounters is captured with considered contemplation and an eye for detail, no matter how small.
As the artist explains, his daily walks around the inner west reveal the canvas of human life – walls, rooves, building facades, streetscapes, nature, there is endless inspiration.
“I like to walk, I see more that way. If you go by bus, the route you takes determines what you might encounter. If you drive, you need to concentrate on what you’re doing. Walking allows the freedom to go where you want, see what interests you. My photos are chance glances of life..”David Urquhart
David’s love of the inner-west and its iconic streetscapes – blowsy blossom tumbling into tree-lined streets, tiny terraces lined up like workers, skinny alleys that lead to nowhere, gardens in bloom beneath Federation facades – and his deep connection to the underground music and protest communities spawned here, now anchor the collection in his forever place: Newtown. And with that, his work reveals a soulful, meditative peace…
Alongside the joy and freedom of rebellion, of people reclaiming streets and laneways for their communities, of rewriting the status quo of urban delineation. For surely, this is what makes this place this place.