Cronulla Street Summer 1973-2011

Monday September 24 saw the successful opening of Cronulla Street Summer 1973-2011, an exploratory installation of photographs taken in 1973 and rephotographed again in 2011, around Cronulla Street, (Cronulla, NSW) in the Teal Room at INSPIRE. 

INSPIRE Adjunct Professional Associate James Steele began his PhD program in Visual Arts with the theme User-generated images in space, time and place exploring how photographs turn a location into a place, worthy of society's recognition as significant in Australian culture.

The five-day exhibition is a culmination of his work completed over the period of the program that shows the contrast between then and now: how the place has changed.

In 1972, James enrolled in an Architecture undergraduate degree program as a student at the University of New South Wales where he learned how to make films, consequently his film was the only one to be produced that year. Early 1973, saw James leave the University of NSW to pursue his passion - film producing, however before he was given an assignment to develop a proposal to turn the Cronulla Street suburban shopping strip into a pedestrian mall. James never completed the assignment.

Almost forty years later, it was in a box of old keepsakes that James found the six strips of black and white TRI-X negatives: six per strip making 36 images in all, and so he revisisted Cronulla Street once more.

"For two days, I scanned and consulted Google Maps, and eventually felt I had located most of the images with reasonable certainty," says James.

Using the street names identified in image 32, James used Google Maps to search for the street view of the corner of the two streets and was able to locate the same place today. With his GPS unit in hand, James set off for the location of where he thought 00 had been taken and there it was in the same location - but as Cronulla Mall.

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