New Suburbs

New Suburbs explores contemporary housing in the urban sprawl of western Sydney. With suburb names like Glenwood and Bella Vista, one is presented with scenes that reveal the eventuality of the newly finished houses of the Kellyville series. With their uniformly green, well-grassed verges, un-littered gutters, shrubs and saplings, these are scenes reminiscent of a David Lynch film set. They do indeed appear as film sets, recalling the notion of familiarity of image and script, in this case that of the contemporary Australian suburban landscape. Not even the occasional eucalypt can distinguish these scenes from Hollywood backblock or a secured suburb in Johannesburg. Whereas once a visitor could recognise a scene by its vernacular architecture now it presents a riddle! Post-modernity has transformed citizens of place into consumers of place: housing styles presented like biscuit packets on a supermarket shelf. The look of the packet cannot disguise the sameness of taste.

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