Every town, urban or rural, has the hidden walks. These are the ones the locals know about and love. These walks can be found in the oddest places.
They might be alongside a river, behind a school, near a local airport, through a school or field, down a road you found one day, or up a hill to a street with the perfect view.
These are the places I love to walk and photograph with my family, because they are not so obvious. Yet they are the places you come to know if you live somewhere for any length of time.
I loved that a rural town like Tully has banana and cane fields right up to the border of town. I loved that when you headed around the streets walking you found small creeks almost everywhere.
It had a hidden beauty not seen from the ugly highway view.
I loved discovering rusted farm equipment on a street corner or rail tracks for the cane tranes running through the town.
The photograph with this post is of a place behind the highschool in Tully. My husband worked there and one day on the weekend after he had been into collect stuff from his office we went walking through a banana field, and on a nature walk by the creek.
The field is now gone, post cyclone renovation. The walk is still there. The greenery recovers.
Now we are in Brisbane city and its the murals at the railway stations and under walk ways, and trails of art on telegraph poles that peek out at me and say ‘ you must come back and take photographs’.
I still look for the light through the trees in the leafy suburbs. I still find creeks.
What’s changed is how many urban spaces there are. There are so many I must begin and move inwards to outwards.
There are many tall buildings, more suburbs- too many to contain in my head just yet, and I have to look closely to have some of them not seem all the same. Shopping centre, Fast Food, cinemas, highways, Aldis, this is the world of little boxes full of people. Suburbs like this run into each other.
Then there’s Paddington and West End. They have character and gorgeous cafes to stare out at through the bus windows.
And then there are other suburbs with parks and bike ways of sweeping green. One day we will go there more. One day to the botanical gardens.
Can I take my camera with me yet, and look up and down these streets for images to enchant?
Must check the rules of the city, what can be photographed and not photographed? I am not so sure in this space with its people.
The first thing I photograph of people is a street gathering of friends in West End. It is friendly and open and I wish this was our home street afterwards.
New migrants, old timers, friendly people, arty people, and a few students, and families playing cricket in the streets.
I feel like I am back with the spirit of Mission Beach.
The hidden beauty of cities is sometimes put together with ugliness, graffiti, shambling houses. Sometimes the shamble attracts me. Odd bright colours try to dress up delapidated mess.
Expensive real estate space with shabby houses people can’t afford to knock down and barely livable. Cracking walls plastered together and caked over with concealing paint.
I don’t wander with my camera, not yet, but I am scouting, looking out for the places with a deep story.
Our family is finding a new sense of place. I am finding new things as an artist.
Our home is our cocoon from the cold. Sometimes there is no desire to explore, just a longing for the passing of winter and the arrival of spring.
But I must look for the beauty of winter to keep me going through this urban maze.
Still I am not sure of who I am here yet. I am still exploring, just beginning to chip away at the hidden layers and looking out for the hidden walks as well as the ones everyone knows.
What are the hidden walks in your town?
(c) June Perkins