Saturday, August 11, 2018

Woolsheds & Silos Project // Distant Memory

As much as I up close to the woolsheds and silos, finding views from afar to provide context were always fun and provided a new way to view a familiar scene. The views from the suburb of Trevallyn between houses and trees was amazing.  Finding new vantage points became an obsessive pursuit! I enjoy these kinds of views of familiar subjects, they provide scene context to the main subject.  When I captured this image in 2015 the once large scale industrial site of Gunns Mill had been demolished and Bunnings Warehouse was still be completed. Check out my story and photographs published in the latest August issue of Australian Photography magazine. The story features a project I have been working on now for over 10 years in Launceston, Tasmania....I hope it inspires you to get out there and undertake a long terms project, the rewards are endless. Available now in newsagents and online for download

Friday, August 10, 2018

Launceston Woolsheds & Silos Project // Street with No Name

Today I edit this photograph I took back on the 2nd January 2012 when the woolsheds were still standing and that street running through the image was still a street. Since I captured the entire landscape is unrecognisable. The woolsheds and the street is no more. The power of the photograph for posterity is so precious. Check out my story and photographs published in the latest August issue of Australian Photography magazine. The story features a project I have been working on now for over 10 years in Launceston, Tasmania. I hope it inspires you to get out there and undertake a long terms project, the rewards are endless. Available now in newsagents and online for download.

Remember to keep up to date with my photography of Tasmanian Modernism on my Instagram feed over at

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Most Original Building // Henty House

Do you follow my Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism page?

Entire ongoing project gallery of Henty House> 

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Beauty of the Staircase

One of the most fascinating aspects of architecture for me is finding staircases.  A good staircase is always a joy to find and photograph.  This is my latest edit from this ongoing project, taking the staircase project to 172 now uploaded into the project gallery. 

I love this circa early 1970s staircase, there are so many layers of materials going on.  The terrazzo stairs themselves, and the aluminium bars that really are a dramatic feature.   The original door and light fittings also provide originality and visual joy.  

If you would like to hear more about my love of staircases and why I enjoy photographing them you can check out an interview I did for the ABC here:

And view the entire ongoing project on my website here

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Launceston Magistrates Court

This Modernist gem is a real joy to photograph, especially on a sunny day where the blue hues contrast nicely to the red brick and the dark granite. This building remains largely original in design both inside and out, the aluminium windows are wonderful too.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Erasing Memory // Before Returning Rewind the Tape

Remember heading down to the video store to hire your fix of movies?  The slow demise of the video store has been happening with the uptake of online streaming services ...who remembers before online streaming took off those kiosks in shopping malls where you would hire a DVD out of a machine?

Growing up going to the video store felt so normal, I didn’t think about it at all, it's what you did to see a movie.  My first video store I can remember going to was an independent one on a small strip of shops, that included the local grocer that had the latest video game arcade machines, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I remember fondly.  When the shop owners got that game in the ques of us kids was literally out the door! The stip of shops had all the Modernist conveniences including an asian takeaway, fish and chip shop, hairdresser, tattoo shop and of course the video store. I can remember seeing Super Mario Brothers the movie at the cinemas (13 times!!) and it took around 5 months for it to release on video.  I can recall they had one for sale on the desk for $50 - that was a fortune for a kid like me at the time.  Some things through the passing of time actually do come down in price.  Imagine paying $50 for a movie now!...or should I say streaming it...Super Mario Brothers were hot items for me... and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starring Vanilla Ice!

Fast forward to the 2000s and I can remember video stores in Launceston closing down. There was one large video store in Newstead.  There was also a video store in Kings Meadows that I managed to photograph, but all that remained was the outline of where the sign once was on the facade and if you looked through the front door, row after row of empty shelves. The Video City store just out of the CBD closed down this February.  Video City once had 29 stores around Tasmania, only two now remain that are located in Hobart.  

I don’t reckon anyone would have thought that video stores back in in the 1980s would close down - and yet in such a short period of time something that was so everyday is now but a memory. Like playing computer games, eating takeaway - these spaces were part of my memory - a memory of growing up - the architecture in a sense was there to house these institutions of entertainment and fast food. The everyday moments are all the more special when they disappear forever.  Remember the telephone box, the corner store... They are still around, but for how much longer?  Again, everyday normal - now not so normal - with us but like some alien life form now.

So with the knowledge that the Video City store was the last in Launceston I wanted to capture some moments. I wanted to use the empty car park and twilight to emphasise the passing of time on what was once an institution, a place where once was full of people and cars eager to get the latest release and pick up a bunch of weekly specials.  It’s funny how nostalgia works as I was even smiling about how fines would be issued for late returns! 

Whilst the neon sign was no longer illuminated, the billboard facing the street still was.  I used the lit up street sign neon that reflected into the now empty shop - a metaphor for a once normal Friday evening outing.   As is turned out I was very lucky to be there that evening, because the next afternoon I drove past and both the shop and street signage had been completely removed. 


About the project

Join me (Thomas Ryan Photography) on a photographic project documenting Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism from the 1930's to the 1980's. The entire project gallery of 1000+ images and counting can be viewed on my website under art projects. I have been undertaking this project for over a decade.

My portfolio of commercial and art projects can be seen on my website and I can be contacted here as well. All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan Photography. Unauthorised use is prohibited. Contact me for all enquires

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