Streetwalking in Western Australia
My penchant for urban flâneury recently found me streetwalking in Perth, WA. While the very crux of An Urban Pictorial lies in seeking out the paradoxical nature of the cityscape, this urban centre in particular offers a pictorial of visual contradictions to the dedicated site-seer.
Perth is a place of interest. Its skyline is evolving in real time before the cognisant spectator’s eye due to an unprecedented acceleration in urban development. This of course makes for a fascinating and dynamic visual apparatus for those interested in archiving it. However, it is also a place of disinterest. Its overeager dependence on economical growth and superficial fluff is deafening to behold. A large quantity of Perthonian city dwellers are blindsighted by the tempting offer of an opportunistic salary and a six-month summer, busying themselves with a hefty work-load rather than cultural cultivation. I do not mean to suggest that one cannot find cultural activity here, but rather that economic gaming seems to be the spectacle du jour defining the heartland of the city.
On the brighter side, there are pockets of Perth in which you can find intriguing views, juxtaposed architectures, quirky street-art, colourful facades, and retro street vibes. Fremantle, the authentic heart of Perth, is one of those pockets. It not only hosts a bustling street scene (the Fremantle Markets are a favourite), but betokens an energetic maritime hub. Dockland skylines hold a fascination for An Urban Pictorial’s camera lens. (See post on Dublin Docklands). Fremantle, or Freo as it is locally known, is certainly a must-not-miss for anyone travelling to the Western capital in the near or distant future. Additionally, Leederville boasts a thriving alternative scene, with a host of off-cuff cafés, vintage-inspired shops and seriously good cake (Greens & Co. rules the roost of Perthonian bakes and cakes).
The following gallery of images attempts to create a photographic map of Perth’s urban streetscapes. It is not extensive, but rather a selective collection from the perspective of one intrigued flâneur.