Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere.
It is both a simple yet complex space – one that proudly wears its fascinating 130+ year history on its sleeve, whilst functioning as a modern Melbourne icon, with all its wonderful multicultural diversity.
It is a meeting place. A delicious meeting place. It is a “must go” tourist box to tick, either at sunrise or after dark. A place where even locals can (and do) go exploring… after they’ve lined up for their yummy boreks at brekky time, of course.
But it was not just the produce or coffee or trinkets or clothing stalls through the Queen Vic Market that stirred my eye.
It was the people. The traders. The families. The stories.
Some of these men and women were multi-generation traders, running the same bread stall, the same cheese store, the same fish monger or butcher for over a century. It is the traders and artisans of the Queen Vic Market that give the market its true character and heritage. Their smiles gently conceal the bellow of a morning sales pitch – often delivered with a cheeky prod, and always with warmth, love and pride in what they do.
That is what I sought to capture in this series – the faces of the people that give the market its real personality.
The faces are those of a familiar friend, and of a fascinating stranger.
Like the grand old lady herself.
The portraits are now being used to promote our wonderful traders around in a campaign called “Let’s Talk”.