Redfern’s gentrification might be unstoppable but memories of the old suburb are set to remain thanks to a collection of community postcards that will be exhibited at RedWater markets this weekend.
Organised by local artist Tammie Castles, The Great Buckingham Street Project asked residents to complete postcards with their fondest memories of the street and return them to a purpose-built mailbox.
“Redfern has changed a lot and in particular, Great Buckingham Street. I created this project to capture and archive a snapshot of the street before the gentrification process is complete,” Tammie said.
“The postcard format allowed residents to share their stories in a really simple way. The response has been fantastic and it’s really captured the changing face of the community,” she said.
“We’ve got postcards from Lebanese and Greek families who have lived here since the 1960’s, current students in share houses, young families, and even the Lord Mayor Clover Moore.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said, “I’m not surprised people are fascinated by the area's old stories. For people who have lived in Redfern for a long time, like I have, or moved in recently, this area has a strong sense of community. I’m enjoying finding out some of these secrets too.”
“Everyone wants the best for our neighbourhood – it’s so important we keep that strong, tight knit sense of community,” the Lord Mayor said.
Former Lord Mayor of Sydney and Australian Rugby Union Hall of Fame member, Sir Nicholas Shehadie is among those to complete a postcard. Now in is eighties, Sir Nicholas lived on Great Buckingham Street in the 1930s.
Ms Castles distributed postcards throughout the community with the support of Redfern’s Factory Community Centre.
Edith Olivares, Community Development Officer at Redfern’s Factory Community Centre said, “The project has connected people from all over the community. Placing genuine value on generations of stories that might otherwise be lost.”
The collection of postcards will be displayed at RedWater markets this weekend.
“Choosing Redwater market over a formal gallery setting will provide the wider community with greater access to the project”, Tammie said.
The collection of postcards will be published and digitally archived after the exhibition with the help of a $1600 grant from City of Sydney Council.