A place is much more than a location on a map. We apply meaning to the places around us by the ways we make sense of our environment and this depends on the social and cultural groups to which we belong. Places become part of our personal histories, our memories and experience of the world up to the present moment. No two places are the same and no one will see a place in precisely the same way as someone else.
“To be human is to live in a world that is filled with significant places: to be human is to have and to know your place” – Edward Relph
I am fascinated with public spaces and feel fortunate to be part of a growing and evolving city. The energy, noise, movement and chaos of the urban environment provoke, within me, a sense of awe and fascination. I am inspired by the stories of cities, by urban structures past and present, and by the people that inhabit them. This curiosity has lead to an ongoing commitment to capture, in photographs, the city in which I live.
In early 2013, I asked five people to tell me about a place in Sydney that they find personally significant, or that they like to visit. The responses were fascinating, diverse and revealing about the nature of my interview subjects and of Sydney itself. To Ilaria, Adam, Mary, Natalie and Darren, I offer sincere thanks.
Over the course of the year, I visited each place many times and discovered much more than I had anticipated. I have attempted to capture each place in terms of the experience of the people I interviewed and my own. The photographs in this book are the result of these encounters.
Graham Sciberras, September 2013