Apr 26, 2013

The Wandering Melbournian: Part 3

by Chris Vlahonasios

A five-part collection of photos taken during one glorious afternoon in the great city of Melbourne, Australia.

The goal was to not to take “tourist pictures” but capture snapshots of the elements that make up Melbourne. However, what gives a city its character is not chosen by accident; they are influenced by the history and culture of the individuals who make it their home.

If you understand the city you will understand the people.

For the complete series, go to:

Part 3: Consumadome
Melbourne has always been a stylish city; as the old saying goes, ‘the clothes make the man’. From the high-end boutiques of Collins St, to the Mall department stores and down the basement bargains the city caters all tastes.

However, it is the multi-level department stores which are most intriguing. Centres for materialism, they provide image and status for those who can afford it and envy for those who can not. Day-in and day-out, the crowds willingly flood into its bellows.

To shop can be either a complex or impulsive decision, but why does an ‘individual’ need to become a ‘consumer’? To satisfy a yearning. To feel ‘fulfilled’. To be above the Joneses.

But in all honesty, what are these places? An earthly paradise of consumable satisfaction? Climate-controlled prisons for money exchange? By creating an atmosphere of splendid and luxury the purchaser is gently coaxed into opening their wallets.

Are we really the sum of our possessions?

Red light
Amongst the beiges and greys, radiant colours breathe some life into this place. Suspended gracefully, illuminating the colours of royalty, prosperity and good fortune. Nature and tradition, held hostage and on display.

True. Authentic. Beauty. The fine branches, covered in real pale-lime mould, twist according to their will – originality impossible to be manufactured. Festivities and memories yet to be celebrated. Joy stands frozen.

Manchester department, Myer Department Store, CBD.

The Glaring
Sharp, piercing lines of simplicity, screaming with overwhelming emotion. Blistering power emulating from a soulless centre. Part of the upcoming autumn collection – a reflection of how Melburnians feel about the cold?

Bold. Crazed. Demented? An eye that sees all. Tear. Drop. Look.

Kitchenware, Myer Department Store, CBD.

A mythical giant in action. Golden fangs. Strike.

One shakes with godly fear, yet this creature only wishes good fortune. Brilliant golden skin and rich trimmings adore this animal of cosmological significance. Confined space, dazzling light and pentagram structure creating a sense of vortextual energy. An atmosphere of festivity and awe for the shopper who looks up into the ‘sky’.

Ground floor, Myer Department Store, CBD.

Opulence beneath us. A time from yesterday-year when luxury could be treaded on. Grandeur. Reflecting quality of surrounding shops. A projection of image. Person/consumer and their social-economic status. How much do you value me?

Stunning mosaic, reminiscent of ancient Roman bathhouses. Beauty to behold. The floral pattern flares out encompassed by other complex floral arrangements and boarders. Defined lines thanks to the countless, skilfully laid tile pieces giving the objects form and shape. The viewer is enthralled by this breathtaking creation.

The Block Arcade, Collins St.

Photos were taken using the 5MP camera in the Nokia C5-03 mobile phone.

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