Wildor Crescent - A Thin White Line

Wildor Crescent – A thin white line

As we advance as humans we are taught to read different things in certain ways. For example, we read books from right to left and top to bottom. The same applies to visual hierarchy in photography. When viewers observe a photo at the same height they are equal to the subject. However, if the photo is taken looking down at the subject a shift in power occurs. The observer now has a dominate authority over the subject. What happens when something that is usually looked down upon is given the power to stare down the throat of its contrasting class?

Usually higher classes inhabit the central areas or any hills that lie in or around the city and the proletarians dwell below on the fringes of society. This is a pretty standard rule of thumb for a cities social hierarchy structure. Wildor Crescent in Ravenswood, Launceston defies this inherent code. Sitting on the outskirts of Launceston elevated above most of the city, the lower end of society is given a chance to look down at the high rollers. These two juxtaposing color photo collages that stand before you are a personal attempt to investigate the inverted visual hierarchy that occurs within the hill-ridden cityscape of Launceston, Tasmania.

Point A, taken from Wildor Crescent looks out and over then down upon the better part of the higher class areas of Launceston. In turn this creates a rift in the power play between the higher and lower classes. Situated in the higher end of the lower socioeconomic area, it sits on the edge of society receiving spectacularly clear and practical views long into the night. Point B is taken from Trevallyn Road in the adjacent suburb of Trevallyn, sitting at roughly the same height in what is generally regarded as a higher-middle class area. Trevallyn Road receives, in comparison, quiet mediocre views which are blocked by cluttering neighbors. When observing from this point the spectators view is constantly being Shivved by the thin white eyesore that is Wildor Crescent. To highlight these different views at different points of the day I have used a similar aesthetic style to Carolin Reichert’s ‘Sunset’ series.

David Hockney’s photo collage method has been put into play to employ the different household perspectives that run along Wildor Cres and Trevallyn Road. I have also included a fragmented figure in each image, similar to that of Hockneys collage ‘My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire’. The figures disjointed facade is symbolic of how each viewer perceives this body of work. In Point A the figure faces away (looking out over the city as if reflecting) and from Point B it faces towards the observer (confronting the viewer, like that of the thin white line). I have used these figures to ensure the viewer can engage and find a common with the work.

Like that of Pierre Huyghe’s ‘Les Grands Ensembles’, I have purely set out to create a spectacle of the crescent and its commanding vantage point. Even though I do not inhabit the neighborhood myself I simply want to draw attention to the interesting shift in visual and social hierarchy that lies on the outskirts of Launceston, in doing so giving the people who inhabit Wildor Cresent and contrasting higher socioeconomic areas a chance to start questioning this weird and wonderful anomaly.