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Digital print Polygonal City 13

Polygonal City 13
Sacred Heart Church, Oakleigh

2009
Inkjet on watercolour paper
70 x 52 centimeters

Warrigal Road is a long straight, dull thoroughfare in the south-east of Melbourne, relieved only by this landmark church, which is unsurprisingly one of several Sacred Heart churches in Melbourne. I had no definite plan about how I would develop this image, there was only the photo of the church, which interested me architecturally, but it had nothing of much interest surrounding it. The prominently positioned car and the woman moving next to it were added to flesh out the composition, the cool functionality of the vehicle contrasting with the spiritual iconography of the building which is crazily reflected in its paintwork.

This intuitive approach, after some reflection, carried other meanings such as the unavoidable ubiquity of cars in the urban environment. I have often been annoyed when photographing interesting city spaces, with cars marring otherwise appealing shots, and in a sense this is a belated acknowledgement of that unavoidability. The Chinese female, who had inadvertently strayed into the frame of a photo I took at Singapore airport, was used because I liked her posture. It occurred to me later that the choice had an interesting symbolism; the changing demographics of Melbourne's eastern suburbs is characterised by a growing Chinese population.

Photo from Google Street View of the Sacred Heart Church, Oakleigh