local character

Spencer St, St Kilda


“There used to be a guy that lived by the back door of the club. He was there for ages. Had quite a good set up really. That was his mattress and couch but he had other things as well: a coffee table, a vase with flowers and a lamp. He’s been gone for quite a while now, probably ended up in a psyche ward or something like that”. Local resident

Looking for an exhibition by Ernesto Neto


The gallery wasn’t on her map. The streets were familiar because she had been nearby the day before to have lunch with some friends.
“Straight ahead” the first person said “and then turn left straight away.”
It was a strange space, more like a private courtyard with a few shops but nothing that resembled a gallery.


“I’m very sorry, I can’t help you” apologised the woman with the dog. “I’ve never heard of that place.”


“Try asking her” replied another woman as she struggled to get her young son’s stroller through the gate. “She is always standing there.”


It was only when the visitor walked passed the discarded box for the second time she realised what was happening.

A difference of opinion


“Why do you feed the pigeons everyday?” he asked in an exasperated tone.
“They add life and colour to to the city and there have always been pigeons in Rome” she replied.
“But they are filthy and they shit all over the place”.
“They are my friends and they love the wheat I feed them”.


“You are just a crazy bird lady”, he snapped “you waste your money on wheat and nobody likes them except you”.
“That’s not true” said the woman “the tourists like them too. See over there, one is taking photos of the pigeons as we speak”.


Fifteen minutes later they were still arguing and the pigeons were still hungry.


Gleaner and the cleaner #4


View from a carpark

“Isn’t it a bit cold out there” she shouted as they bounced down the side of the building. She couldn’t help wondering if they ever got that “pit of the stomach feeling” everybody else gets they drop too quickly in a lift.
“Nah” he replied “we just keep working, any weather. It’s the only way to keep warm. If it’s windy and we’re being smashed against the building, then we stop. That’s just commonsense”.

The gleaner and the smoker


Laneway smoko #11
“Can I help you” she asked taking anther tug on a rollie.
“No, just taking some photos” J- answered.
“We get a few photographers down here but usually it’s homeless people or druggies. I come out here to escape the politics. It’s normally pretty quiet most of the time. Except for Tuesday, that’s when the managers come for their meeting and their cars are parked all along here. Then if the guys in Harley repair shop come out the back for a smoke you can hardly move.”

The gleaner and the fishermen


“Caught any fish,” she asked.
“Nup, we’re more fish feeders than fish catchers today” he replied, as he dribbled breadcrumbs into the water. “Look down there lots of them, look below the shadows and you can see more coming.”
“What are you doing here” he said, “You’re definitely not a tourist.”
“How did you know?” she asked.
“For a start you look happy. So how did how discover this place?”
“Just wandered through the car park wanted to see what was beyond the development. So do you catch many fish then?”
“Yeah, it’s a good place,” he replied.
“I might bring my son, he’s just discovered fishing.”
“Well make sure you have a license then. The water police will see you before you even know they are there. We were just sitting here, rods out and admiring a flash looking boat. Before we knew it, they’d landed on that jetty there and were standing in front of us asking to see our fishing licences. They reckon the fishing is really good they said they saw some bloke pull in a great big mulloway.”

Under the Bolte Bridge, Docklands.

Gleaner and the cleaner #1


“I have to clean this work every week.
It takes me one and half hour. The children they play on it.
They climb up, you see these marks are made by their shoes. They hang off the legs for a photograph. The manager tells them off but they take no notice.
I clean all the artworks. I like them very much, they are the creation of human beings.”

Public art: Silence by Adrian Mauriks 2002