A Place Called Manly, A Place Called Home
Australia through the lens of Thomas James Parrish
After three years in London - a year of which was spent confined within my East London share house as the pandemic ran its relentless course - I decided it was time to come home. Not only had the previous year thwarted any momentum previously established in my photographic progression, but it resulted in a confounding paradox - I was encouraged to slow down as the world closed its borders, shops and windows of opportunity, yet remained eager to set in motion the wheels of hopeful and ambitious projects.
You don’t move to London to unwind. I moved there for the hustle, the buzz, the big city stories and the dazzling scenes - all of which were no longer on offer. So my mind wandered to a place called home.
Finding myself back in Sydney, the city I’d left for want of exciting stories and exotic photos, I decided to test out the previously unattainable art of ‘taking it easy’. When NSW entered a new lockdown a month after my arrival, the stage was set.
This series of photographs were captured during the recent lockdown period in Manly, my childhood home. For these images, many of which were taken from my bedroom balcony, I refined my subject matter and focused on the everyday beauty around me; the beauty I often forget to appreciate. Scenes of sea and sky, light and shadow took on new significance and I allowed them to fill my frame as well as my soul. I was confronted with the notion that, while part of me used to laugh at the idea that I was from the most beautiful place in the world, perhaps I’d finally started to believe it. I hope these images do justice to such a place.