Writer: Anna Brasier
“The suburb is alive. It breathes; everywhere you look is an opportunity to shoot a photograph.”
Simon O’Dwyer, Picturing Bluscray judge.
Footscray is a suburb that has long been associated with life and vitality. It is home to a diverse and multicultural community and the heart of the red, white and blue.
This year Victoria University celebrates 100 years of education in Footscray with a blue theme. The colour blue is closely associated with the University’s identity and signifies transformation, hope, aspiration and the future.
For Picturing Bluscray, 95 people created 218 images of a suburb that oozes urban renewal and artistic endeavour to celebrate 100 years of learning and opportunity through the colour blue.
More than 200 people attended opening night at VU at MetroWest, where award-winning photographer formerly with The Age, Simon O’Dwyer, selected finalists and the winners were announced.
First prize: Wirut Khemnak won $1000 for his colourful image of hip-hop master, Ocoro, draped with the Australian flag and immersed in a vibrant Footscray street scene.
Second prize: Rosie Howell, for cyan-blue print of the Bunbury Street railway bridge that crosses the Maribyrnong River.
Third prize: Jaye Heraud for her ephemeral depiction of the Heavenly Queen statue on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.
In the judging of the images that re-imagined Footscray, O’Dwyer was struck by the serenity of the Heavenly Queen, welcoming people to Footscray; the rail bridge, linking the city and the suburb through industry, and finally, the vitality of its people and culture.
Picturing BluScray is the first in a series of arts and cultural events that will be held in the remainder of 2016 to celebrate the University’s Centenary in collaboration with Maribyrnong City Council as part of Footscray University Town.
Picturing Bluscray is on display at VU at MetroWest, 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray, until 22 July.
Anna Brasier is Editor in Chief of Hyde magazine.