The Great Australian Dream
Project info

The great Australian dream – the home on the quarter acre block. Raised in the suburbs of Sydney I have witnessed urban development and a gradual encroachment into small acreage areas on the outskirts of Sydney. However, the type of development and style of housing has changed dramatically in recent times.

Now, large double story homes sit cheek by jowl, narrowly separated by a fence, the large footprint of concrete surfaces bake in a Sydney summer.

The dream is now a ‘McMansion’; gone is the modest family home with room for children to roam, explore, be carefree and be called home for dinner only when the light fades and the street lights flickered on.

In these new housing developments the ubiquitous black street lights are constructed before the houses and dominate the landscape.

They could perhaps be perceived as beacons of hope, lighting the path to fulfilment of the dream.

To me they illustrate a landscape now devoid of character and soul – in an almost threatening way.

The style of development as illustrated in this series is very different and leaves me somewhat nostalgic for earlier and potentially more simpler times.

I was influenced by the American photographer Robert Adams in his portrayal of the housing development of the American Midwest – how he captured the creeping suburbs, what has been lost and what has remained.

The images were deliberately shot wide with a large sky to land ratio. Producing the images in black and white was employed to emphasize the jutting, aspirational lamp posts and the endless tiled rooves against the stark cleared landscape.