apparently started with the decline of local fish and chip
shops in Northcote. Over the course of the past decade, Wadelton photographed
more than 600 small businesses, with over 140 featured in the book. The
businesses are organised into groupings: milk bars, cafes, laundrettes,
tailors, shoe shops and repairers, barbers, VHS shops, and so on.
Wadelton’s photographs are carefully composed and depict the spaces in all
their fluoro-lit, chaotic detail. They are far from iPhone snapshots. But their
significance is as a collection rather than individual images.
Collected together in this book, they form an extraordinary record and a
compelling artistic project. Paradoxically, the effect of the typological
approach is to reveal how, in spite of superficially similarities, each
business is unique.
Each image tells its own story, aided by all-too brief captions that offer a
note about the owner or history of the business. From this book I learnt that
Kosovo TV Repairs, which sat vacant for a decade around the corner from my
house in North Fitzroy, opened in 1956, the year TV was first broadcast in
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics