After shooting my ongoing ‘Clayton Wastelands’ series I’ve been wanting to shoot other suburbs and neighbourhoods that I find interesting in Melbourne, Springvale being one of them.
Springvale is a bordering suburb to Clayton, where I call 'home’ in Melbourne, and 2 train stops down the line. A lot of my family lived in Springvale when I was growing up so I have a lot of fond memories of it, some not so fond.
Springvale was originally considered it’s own 'city’ but was merged other suburbs such as Clayton to form 'City of Kingston’. Its home to about 20,000 residents most of which are mainly Vietnamese but also has large populations of Cambodian, Lao, Thai, Chinese, Indian and more recently in the past 10 years, Sudanese.
Springvale went through a dark phase in the 90’s and early 00’s when it became notorious for gangs dealing heroin, drug addicts and general crime. It was seen as crime ridden and rough area and a lot of people (especially ones that weren’t asian) were scared to go there and stayed away. What added to this was that the only police station for the area was in the back-residential areas of the suburb, away from the main street and the station where all the crimes were happening. The old police station still stands, abandoned, which I took a photo of but couldn’t get into. Eventually the government clued on and built a new police station right on the main strip and cracked down on the crime and drugs. It’s cleaned up a lot since then and has become a popular destination (for all nationalities) for Vietnamese and other asian restaurants and markets.
I went there and shot a roll but I feel I really didn’t do it much justice and to be honest I couldn’t find much interesting things to shoot. I will definitely be going back though until I’m really happy with the results because I was a little disappointed with this attempt. The film I used (E100VS), I now realise needs to be shot in only really bright areas and bright sun otherwise it creates intense 'cold blue’ shadows in the shade…which looks really odd. Also I know the song I chose has absolutely no theme connection but I had it on repeat the whole time I was shooting there so I had to upload it. Expect some more Springvale photos in the next few months..