SURBURBIA – THE FAMILIAR AND FORGOTTEN – Warren Kirk

suburbia-banner-1920x1080This is a magnificent book .. but it left me deeply frustrated! I am inquisitive by nature and I was desperate to know the story behind so many of the photos in this book. The walls covered with so many photos, others covered with nothing but Jaeger magazine covers……cluttered old shop interiors paired opposite pristine, even stark, shop interiors .. so much about which to speculate!

I adored the cluttered kitchens, the meticulously organised garages and workshops and the wonderful, weathered faces of so many of the personalities represented. I want to know their stories! I want to know the story behind the backyard setting which appears to be a shrine to cricket or perhaps to the cricketer whose photograph appears there….

I yearn to know the story of the house front decorated with the painting of an elegantly dressed woman on one side of two windows, with a man depicted on the other side, and between the windows, the painting of a young lad! Is this the equivalent of the stickers we see on car windows depicting the family within?

I want to know more about the elegant old gentleman sitting at a kitchen table which, among the clutter that totally covers it, features a huge carton of Saxa Salt and a roll of toilet paper!

There are contrasts right throughout the book… such as the slick modern bakery counter on the page opposite one of a cluttered bakehouse with an elderly baker slouching against the counter.

There is disciplined topiary in gardens and meticulously maintained old cars … something for everybody! This book provides a wonderful exercise for the imagination and I really adored it!

I was most impressed by the dignity of all the elderly people who were featured, regardless of whatever the background, and was reminded of the artist, the late Margaret Olley, who described her personally chaotic surroundings – often included in her paintings – as ‘creative clutter’. ( It is an expression I have stolen to excuse my own inadequate housekeeping skills…. when I am reading books instead of dusting!)

This book is obviously a labour of love and I am looking forward to speaking with photographer Warren Kirk on The Good Life on 3MDR.

Ann Creber
Producer/Presenter of The Good Life on 3MDR Live to air every Monday 3.00-500 P.M.

Publisher: Scribe Publications

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