Monday, October 18, 2010

Shopfront, an exhibition by Lisa Shulman

Picture Framer

(image: A & L Artistic Framers, 2010, photograph and copyright by Lisa Shulman.)

Town Hall Gallery is pleased to host Shopfront, an exhibition of photographs by Lisa Shulman.

Local artist Lisa Shulman has photographed small traders in the Hawthorn area, in celebration of business that have contributed to the local community for over 15 years, offering personalised, often specialised goods and services.

Photographing local communities, Shulman’s desire is to record not just disappearing technologies, but to respectfully acknowledge and preserve the culture of one-to-one customer service and the important role such businesses provide within the fabric of society.

She is acutely aware of the disappearance of this personalised approach to retail and its replacement by large impersonal operations, chain stores and apartment buildings.

Shulman introduces herself to prospective businesses and with their permission, deftly records their operations, daily activities and environment through documentary photography.

Shulman explains “I embarked on a journey of discovering what makes Hawthorn so special. For example, is it the architecture of the business or is it the approach of those behind the counter that makes us feel welcome?"

My journey took me to places that were once thriving stores and are now empty shells with the business name still on the exterior. In fact I found many shops for lease and wondered about the impact of clearways, online shopping and chain stores. I have wanted to capture the gracious character of local businesses in Hawthorn before our shared streetscape is totally transformed.” she said.

Shopfront is at Town Hall Gallery from 27 October until 20 November. Come along and discover more about some of your favourite Hawthorn traders.

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