Three weeks ago a lonesome, masked photographer trudged through the streets as the rain poured down in Victoria Park. Upon his return, he told us about a mysterious mural, incorporating mask wearing figures. It raised a lot of questions among the photographers. Why are they wearing masks? Is the mask wearing related to COVID? After some investigation, we found out that the artwork was painted well before COVID, by a Mexican artist known as Saner. It sparked our interest in the murals of Victoria Park and we decided to follow in the lonesome man’s footsteps. Literally.
On Sunday, three weeks later, the formerly lonesome photographer transformed into The Pied Piper. The other photographers became the rats, prancing along the streets together. The fairy tale had a modern twist because instead of a pipe, he had a camera to lure us. Given that we're living in technologically advanced times, we had cameras too.
Just like rats, the photographers immediately headed towards the dingiest laneways and backs of buildings where the rubbish bins are stored. It was unfortunate that we didn’t have our COVID masks with us, they would have been very handy. Artist Saner was clearly onto something with his masked mural. Perhaps it was a prophecy. Maybe it was a reminder to wear masks when approaching the murals. At this point it's important to mention that the many murals in Victoria Park are located all over the town, not just near rubbish bins. The art works are impressive and definitely worth a visit.
Surprisingly, bin chickens were nowhere to be seen around the rubbish bins. Maybe the area was too scary for them. Perhaps they felt a bit intimidated by the mural that said, “Is this stupid bin chicken meant to look like me?” How dare they call bin chickens stupid! In the absence of bin chickens, we took a few photos and made them snappy before moving on.
The photographers frolicked joyfully through Albany Highway with their cameras, snap-snap-snapping away. We encountered a cheery man on a bicycle who rode past us and posed for a photograph. Unfortunately, I was not snappy enough and missed that photo opportunity. Not to worry though, he came back and posed for us again. That time I did get a shot of him.
We soon walked past a donut shop, Donut Worry, confirming that worrying is a waste of energy. Ironically, a police vehicle was parked in front of that shop. At one point, there was an ambulance there at the same time. In keeping with the theme, the shop next to Donut Worry is called Gosh.
Thankfully we didn’t waste our energy worrying because we needed it for our long walk. We trekked for a few kilometres in the extreme heat, just like camels in the Sahara Desert. By that point we’d moved on from being rats, although some photographers looked like drowned rats with their excessive perspiration. In the distance we saw what looked like an oasis. We walked towards the greenery which turned out to be Read Park.
When we reached the park, some of the photographers took a seat on a bench, next to the Victoria Park Community Garden. It was there that we finally encountered a bin chicken, walking awkwardly inside the garden. One of the photographers reminded me that bin chickens, otherwise known as Ibises, were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. It was certainly our lucky day. Seeing the bin chicken was a very grand finale to our awesome adventure and we left feeling very happy. After we said our goodbyes I trudged back to my car, just like the lonesome photographer a few weeks ago.
Victoria Park is a paradise for photographers with a good mix of old and new buildings, cafes, murals and people. It is also very multicultural. For example, we walked past some Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants in close proximity of each other. It is interesting to note that many of those places confirm that Victoria Park is a worry-free zone. One of them is the Good Fortune Roast Duck House, which will bring you luck unless you are a duck. A particular restaurant that caught my attention is Cinnamon Vic Park, with it's very welcoming front door. Another place had Japanese bottles perfectly aligned, which can make some people worry-free. Finally, there is a place called Teamorrow, where the sun will come out. All that's missing is someone playing the classic song from Annie.
I thoroughly enjoyed my photography walk and I will definitely be back to explore more of Victoria Park.
Writer and Photographer
About my blog
An honest and often humorous recount of my photographic experiences. There is always a story, regardless of the photographs taken.