Wednesday, February 25, 2009

F Is For Fremantle

Did The Earth Move For You?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


Sometimes a tiny fragment of a huge view in front of you catches your eye and seems to cry out "Concentrate on me". That’s pretty much what happened here. We were in Fremantle, Western Australia, for a few hours last month for a family wedding.

The ceremony was over and I’d just parked the rental car as we walked across a park to slake our thirst – and there was a lot of thirst to slake - before the reception began.

It was a scorching afternoon, with the temperature around 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and there I was (remember, I am definitely a cold-climate bloke) in a suit and tie, trying to find some shade as we walked down this street. But I guess my photography radar was still working well, because I shot about a dozen frames as we hurried down the footpath.

This was the last frame I shot and I guess this view arrested my attention because of several factors. There was the ochre wall meeting the blue wall. There was the plethora of signs, all different colours and shapes. There were the three arrows, each pointing in different directions. There was the silvery light pole adorned with a single, slim piece of red tape. There were the strong shadows on the wall and across the window.

I shot this as I walked, without breaking stride – because lagging behind your clan members on a wedding day is not the smartest thing to do.


Later, during the reception at the historic Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, I spotted this great sign (above) in the walkway leading through to the courtyard. It was only when I got back home to Melbourne that I was able to research the history of the building, which gets its name from the nineteenth-century general merchant store belonging to William Dalgety Moore.

History held absolutely no attraction for me when I was in school, yet now that I am an adult it holds me in a magnetic thrall. Whenever I see an object that I photograph, I am drawn to know its story.

This narrow passageway in the Moores Building would have felt the weight of many pairs of boots since the early gold rush days. Being a general store, the place would have been extremely busy as the locals stocked up alongside the seafarers who took on supplies for their long voyages away from the colony.

Now the passageway leads from the gallery and reception centre to a beautiful yard. It may be a floor with a flaw, but I’m sure it could tell us thousands of great tales. There would have been tales of commerce, of adventure, of noble endeavour, of hopes and aspirations, of dreams, of sober reality and (I’m sure) some hilarious moments far removed from sobriety.

The Moore, the merrier.

Extra, extra, read all about it: I've been interviewed here. Thank you to all those who have already followed this link and checked out the interview. There have been so many wonderful comments and votes that I've tried to reply to each one personally - but you're setting a cracking pace. My humble and heartfelt thanks to all of you for the wonderful tributes and thoughts you have shared on the interview.


For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

45 comments:

jinksy said...

Know what you mean about the history thing at school as opposed to now. The stories are the bits that were missing in the textbooks - ordinary people's stories, that bring historical stuff to life - just like blogs!

Nessa said...

The first picture is great for all the reasons you mentioned.

I think most of us, as children, can not imagine the future so we have no interest in the past.

Maggie May said...

Even an uneven floor is interesting when YOU photograph it!

Daryl said...

I have always been a history buff and a lover of puzzles, a solver of things ... did your thirst get slaked? I hope so.

Braja said...

"Caution: Very interesting floor. Be sure to notice it."

Mojo said...

The arrows pointing all over were what caught my attention. Couldn't figure out what that had to do with earthquakes though.

But then I realized, earthquakes didn't really have anything to do with this post anyway.

I had little use for history in school myself. I guess you have to get old(er) before old stuff holds any interest for ya.

skywind said...

Follow you everywhere go to see a number of countries customs. Really are good. In particular, just to see the first photos, I have fainted. Too exaggerated. Hehe ...:* D

http://eyesinkaleidoscope.blogspot.com/
http://fymtyh.blogspot.com/

Jazz said...

I love that picture for the exact same reasons you mentioned. It's brilliant!

Carol said...

My eyes never even made it down to the red tape on that pole until I read your description! I feel the same way about history now, as an adult. I wish I had paid closer attention in high school!

Queen-Size funny bone said...

They need a sighn that says caution Life ahead.

Johnnny said...

Hello David and All: I recently posted our version of the phonetic alphabet, which everyone should do. Our F was for Fargo.

http://milesbrotherscorp.blogspot.com/2009/02/abcs.html

Hilary said...

I love the colours of the first shot, and reading the history of that passage way. And ditto about caring less, if at all about history as a kidlet. But now, it's the rest of the photographic story.

Pienovski said...

I really loved the signs photo. I admire your ability to find time to shoot and concentrate even on moments like you decribed, in a heat beyong my capacity to take and in a suit for goodness sake. I wouldn't be able to think of photographing at that point of time. Lol. I guess I have a long way to go. Heh.

I went to check the link provided and left a comment. I truly appreciate your blog. And you if anyone needs to acknowledged as you truly deserve it.

GreenJello said...

I love that all the arrows are pointing different ways! Great shot!

Janet said...

Had I tried to take a picture of the "uneven floor" on the fly, I would have promptly come to grief on said floor. Or pavement.
I always liked history, just not the way it was presented in school.

lisaschaos said...

Wow check out that floor! Love all the signs pointing in different directions!

Artist Unplugged said...

Oh, that's a wonderful photo with the signs.......I think it is a parallel of what goes on inside my head!

I love the uneven floor sign and the history of the building. I just wonder, would one walk better on that floor if they were sloshed???

Louise said...

I'm going to guess history wasn't presented to you in an interesting manner as a student. History used to be my most hated subject. I got good grades in it because that is what I did, but no class was more miserable or uninteresting. Now I am completely intrigued by knowing the history of things. It is because, like you, I see interesting things and want to know more about them. My husband's life goal is to be a history teacher/professor. (He has the degree--just not the wife who is interested in a teacher's salary. How bad am I? He has another, more lucrative degree.) I tell him that the approach needs to be different than we were raised with because most kids growing up with me loathed history. There are ways to make it interesting, but no one who taught me thought of any of those things.

Slake? New word for my vocabulary!

SweetPeaSurry said...

As I've been going through blogs, people will make mention of historical figures or something of that nature, and I go right in and look the stuff up.

I enjoy it, because I learn something that I might have never known otherwise.

Thanks for the info!!!

John harris said...

really geat post. thanks for share

See interesting myblog

Jay said...

That floor is very enticing, isn't it? I would have been drawn to know more about it, too.

Love the sign with all the colours too.

cheshire wife said...

You can see an interesting aspect to something as mundane as an uneven floor and the street photo looks very cosmopolitan.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Yes it's a great picture, but to be honest not a favourite for me. Hope that's not too rude! I really love all the others I've seen since reading your blog, particularly the vibrancy of so many of them. Reasons x

Sylvia K said...

Great post as always, David! You always seem to be able to take the most mundane, everyday things and turn them into something fascinating! And that spells real talent! Thank you!

Meredith Teagarden (The Things We Carried) said...

Love the last photo best. The first one is quite interesting too, but the floor's texture caught me.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Love all the pictures.I so look forward to your posts!

naturglede said...

Fun to look at the historie.You are telling your story so good, that it makes me smile. I had to look up the word Uneven. It was new for me, but now I understand. Thank you for a greate post. Have a fun abc.

Kiera....or Jill said...

Hey, just passing by browsing blogs and I thought I'd say hi!

Kiera

Digital Flower Pictures said...

It is funny you should ask since I have been worried about earthquakes during my month in California. The answer is no the earth didn't move, thank goodness.

Love the first shot it has some really nice tones.

Fred Smilek said...

I really like the pictures and the statement thats you made addressing them.

Fred Smilek is the acting president of the Society to Save Endangered Species. It was founded two years ago by Fred Smilek along with his two best friends Charles and Jonathan. http://www.fredjsmilek.com

Babooshka said...

Brings me back to blogging again and which I actually think is the new univertity of sorts. Sinage is a law unto it's self I find.

thekingfamily said...

Hi David,

It's Mary (from the Narrow is the Road blog)...I just wanted to let you know that my little miracle will be arriving via induction tomorrow. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement while we dealt with infertility and then the blessing of a pregnancy. It was important to me to thank you now that we're so close to see our son for the first time. You're a blessing!!

steveroni said...

583 peeps follow your blog? WOW! I like that number, it's the same as my old scout troop #583. First time I've seen the #583 in many years.

Earthquake! Maybe that is why ONE-WAY sign is off kilter? Hmmmm. The arrows stabbed me first, then the color.

Thank you--and FireBlossom--for clicking over to my blog.

In just two days, FIREBLOSSOM, has blossomed into one of my favorite alkies...do not know why, just that feeling that she is REALLY one of us, as we say.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. Compelling.

Fireblossom said...

Recovering alkie...just to be clear!

Recipes for theLife said...

The sign post is really amusing!Road to nowhere!

Leslie: said...

Hi David, sorry for not having been by for a while, but well you know what I've been going through.

This is a "cracking" post about Fremantle and as usual, I enjoyed your narrative re history, etc.

Now over to check out that interview...

Kate said...

I love your writing, and the photography is an added bonus!

Kate
cholulared.blogspot.com

kim said...

I gave you a thumbs up. And you are correct in your interview -- I smile every time I visit (and shake my head at those puns!)

M said...

Great photo! I love San Francisco for the same reasons...so much to see and all the color and chaos. It is winter here and the rain and cold make me long for your 104 degree summer day!

I had to go check out Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wed....I do ABC Mondays...but more interestingly I teach at Nesbit School!

spacedlaw said...

I love that firt picture, so vibrant with colours.

Edward Yablonsky said...

History held absolutely no attraction for me when I was in school, yet now that I am an adult it holds me in a magnetic thrall. Whenever I see an object that I photograph, I am drawn to know its story.

History is now and was perpetual attraction for me especially in the area of petroglyphs in regions such as Sego in Utah. It is fascinating to view Anasazi culture through the eyes of rock art. Learning of many subjects of kindred ineterest never tires me and if you are not going forward, you are receding. The most amazement and learning starts at "home".

Grace and Bradley said...

It is always a joy of reading your writing.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Once again, dear David, you pleasure my eyes and mind with ordinary things captured in an extraordinary manner. I very much enjoyed the history behind the photos.

RuneE said...

That was one way of avoiding Fixing the Floor!!

PS Thank you for the very pleasant comment and all the rest of it!§