Windows & Other Reflections Notes - Sally McInerney Photography

Notes on individual images

Auction bird, Annandale 2004:

In Raffan and Kelleher's auction room, a bird (some sort of exotic passerine, possibly extinct) seemed to be bursting out of its antique bell-jar just before going under the hammer.

Julia & wattlebird, Brunswick 2004:

Soon after moving to this house with overgrown garden, her little daughter's first poly-syllabled, whispered word was "hibiscus".

The Gore-Booth sisters at Lissadell, Sligo 2004:

Trapped indoors by Irish weather, the Gore-Booth sisters scratched their names on glass at Lissadell, their family's great Famine-haunted house (the tour guide's orders were "No photography in the house!", so I didn't). Later, one rebellious sister joined the Easter Uprising of 1916. "The light of evening, Lissadell,/Great windows open to the south,/Two girls in silk kimonos, both/ Beautiful, one a gazelle", wrote W.B. Yeats of those sisters in their youth.

London Skies, Piccadilly 2005

Even with parts of their houses broken by German bombs in the Blitz, people reportedly often felt safe as long as their window panes remained intact. This enormous luxury carpet shop with fraying trees faces a park and a palace.

In the old tram sheds, Glebe 2004

No-one ever seems to know what to do about the disused tram sheds at Glebe, a half-hour's walk from the Sydney CBD. Meanwhile they are a sheltered wilderness for graffitti artists, local teenagers on idle adventures, film crews on vogueish model shoots, ferns, snakes and foxes. Once a crowd of grimy old café umbrellas sprang up like mushrooms. I photographed them after heavy rain, through a hole in the security fence and a high broken window. A few months later they had disappeared, and the fence was mended.

Family cars at Spring Forest (nos. 7 - 15)

Old rusting cars and trucks on the family farm, with wheel rims sunk deep in the ground, have become escape vehicles of a different kind: in certain seasons, certain times of day, their glass and metal bodies reverse and bend the landscape, turn it almost upside down, shake up the loneliness that descends at nightfall. Year after year, growths of lichen expand across their glass and metal surfaces.

The Koorawatha second-hand shop (nos. 16 – 21)

The second-hand shop in Koorawatha's main street is a study in sunrise and dust. Over the last seven years it has steadily become less of a shop and more a dwelling-place: now a photographer may only visit very early, hoping not to stir the occupants who sleep behind the painted glass panel of the Smoking Man.

Little Theatres (nos. 31 – 34)

The windows of certain shops are like small private memory-theatres, often the domain of some person whose life is bound up there, like the old gentleman at the Irish Yeast Co. with its hand-written signs, its files of wedding couples and specialties such as petal powder. Josephine Baker with her fringe of golden bananas is still revered in the City of Light. The stitched-up, desiccated monkey in the old Japanese apothecary's window was once a proud professional showpiece but now draws startled stares. The proprietors of such places are often inclined to shyness, keeping to the shadows behind the counter, even glaring at would-be visitors while part of their soul is on display in the window.


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