Madeleine Preston is a Sydney based artist working in painting, sculpture, and installation. The current focus of her practice is how people choose to remember the past and how and what they choose to forget. She is a director of Home@735 Gallery in Redfern

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The images that inspired the show

Darlinghurst in the 80s was a different place to Darlinghurst now. There were a large number of squats. Inner city housing was cheap and attracted artists, musicians and anyone who didn’t quite fit.

The photos that made up the exhibition Darlinghurst Eats its young came from several different sources. One of those sources was the box under my bed. The box of photographs left to me when the photographer, Maggie Woods, died. The other photos for the exhibition (not shown here) came from four people who agreed to sharing their snapshots of themselves and their friends from inner Sydney in the 1980s.

The idea for the exhibition came after a friend put up a lot of scanned photos on Facebook. They were all of Sydney in the 80s. The hair, the clothes, the look of the past; they got a lot of attention from people, some just liked the aged look of old photos, the look you cant get with digital pics.

Big hair, big pants, and long gone buildings.
Why do people load old fashioned ring tones for their iPhone?
What is it that makes people nostalgic for an era they didn’t know?
What makes the look and sounds of ‘analogue’ so appealing?

The photos show a pre digital version of a now almost disappeared city. A Sydney of cheap housing; a Sydney yet to be gentrified.

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