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Posted on Mar 5, 2013 in Articles | 0 comments

Beauty in the ordinary

My name is Amanda Hardy and I have lived in the Hunter most of my life.

I am a local photographer concentrating mainly on photographing features of our everyday local environment , both natural and man made. I am very interested in how people interact with the urban and natural features of our environment and how this is ever changing.

When we look back at images taken in the past often the most everyday scenes are the most interesting because they give us a glimpse into life at the time. As I walk with my baby photographing the everyday images of Newcastle life I love finding and photographing random reminders from our past.

Most of my photographs feature local buildings and quite often feature patterns, colours and designs and other architectural features of the time. Quite often we take the buildings surrounding us for granted and don’t really look and appreciate small details that when photographed become small art works in their own right.

Some of my works look at the spaces in between buildings and where certain buildings meet. It is fascinating how some buildings and places are being revived and given new ‘life’ with often only the facade remaining .

In Newcastle so many of our local sites are being forgotten and abandoned . As this is happening and decay is setting in art is planting seeds that sprout like exotic flowers growing wildly in a bland concrete jungle.  I have a passion for capturing these everyday fleeting images and freezing them in time. I am amazed by the juxtaposition of the bright and creative among the dark and deteriorating reminders of our ‘throw away society’.

I look for the beauty in the ordinary, the lost and abandoned and in  the places we often walk straight past without giving a second glance. The Newcastle we know is on the cusp of significant change and we are losing so much of the ‘old Newcastle’ we have grown up with . As this is happening small reminders of the past are surfacing – a faded peeling painting of a once thriving business, a small patch of blue perfect shiny tiles or a post from a demolished building that refuses to be destroyed. These remind us of stories from our own past.

As I take photos of people’s art works all over the city I wonder about the artists who have created these works as they seem to say look at us we are still here and we still have a strong authentic message to share though we may not fit your mould.  I do wonder however who the Newcastle ‘idiot’ is?? Not the graffiti artist who paints this tag but the subject of the work 🙂 A site of a demolished building becomes an outdoor gallery complete with a comfy lounge, an abandoned car wash business becomes an outdoor museum complete with an old fridge and and some paintings and kids drawing with chalk express words from rap songs -all these things telling us something about the times we are living in as well as our past.

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