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52 Suburbs Exhibition

From the web, to a book to a new exhibition: a photo blog by a Sydney photographer goes from strength to strength.

In 2010 we stumbled across a fantastic little blog that had apparently been fascinating thousands of people since the beginning of the year.

Louise Hawson’s 52 Suburbs used amazing photographs to illustrate one suburb of Sydney each week for a whole year. Her photographs were paired (called the diptych photography method) with a caption for each linking the two photographs.


white lace, Paddington (c) Louise Hawson

“A white-tail spider bite three years ago caused me to lose half my thumb and narrowly escape life-threatening septicaemia,” explains Louise of the rather dramatic catalyst to her suburban safari. “I decided life was precarious and it was time to follow my dream – to be a photographer.”

“I decided I’d do a photographic project and blog about it. When I realised I was a stranger in my own city… I had my project.”


motherly love, Lidcombe (c) Louise Hawson


subursts, Castlecrag (c) Louise Hawson

Louise was most surprised by the truly multicultural spread of suburbs in Sydney. “[Some] suburbs seem to be mini versions of other countries. It’s not until you see and experience the diversity that you can really appreciate it,” she says.


from the eastern bloc, now in waterloo’s western block (c) Louise Hawson


pillars of society, Darlinghurst (c) Louise Hawson

If you weren’t lucky enough to follow the blog throughout the year, it has now been turned into both a book and a new exhibition to be launched at the Museum of Sydney on 14 May.

“It’s thrilling to see the images have a life beyond the ether and be turned into both a book and exhibition – a dream come true,” Louise says.


 a garden suburb, Haberfield (c) Louise Hawson


between the gaps,
Campbelltown (c) Louise Hawson


arabic to zen, Auburn (c) Louise Hawson


 a match made in 50s heaven, Paddington (c) Louise Hawson

“I’d also love to do 52 Suburbs Around the World! But I’d need some major sponsors for that. I’m basically going to let the dust settle after this and then decide what’s next.”


52 Suburbs



Image at top: orange curtains, Wahroonga (c) Louise Hawson