Fortitude Valley, at first sight, seems to be Brisbane city's older sister, losing the battle to age and decay. Dirty, rundown, unloved. This wasn't always so. In the late 1800's, it had a start as a thriving commercial precinct, benefiting from an elevation that saw it escape the 1893 flood. In the 1950's to 70's, it was the biggest shopping precinct outside any Australian CBD with, Myer David Jones and Waltons all housed there. It has been a music precinct since the 90's, but the centre of the Valley, although seeing a lift back to its former glory, retains a grittiness that makes it all the more attractive to the urban photographer. In that decay, there is a beauty. A balance where time can stop immortal. An equilibrium between creation and obliteration.
In landscape architecture, I was introduced to the term 'terrain vague'. I will explain this concept firstly by sharing the definition first coined by architect Ignasi de Sola-Morales. "Empty, abandoned space in which a series of occurrences have taken place seems to subjugate the eye of the urban photographer. Such urban space, which I will denote by the French expression terrain vague, assumes the status of fascination, the most solvent sign with which to indicate what cities are and what our experience of them is."
And as de Sola-Morales states, these spaces are viewed through the lens of a camera, and The Valley provides. There are spaces all around, but some of my favourite are The Waltons and Overells buildings and the old shopfronts on the corner of Wickham and Warner Streets.