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They Go Up and Down

I have been posting photos from the Deaf Children Australia‘s Bluestone for quite some time now.  I am running out of material and am not really sure where to go with these posts, so ideas would be welcome.

Today I thought I would show you a staircase.  There are quite a few in the building.

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It looks like a fairly normal staircase, but there is a catch.

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Then half way between the ground floor and the first floor the stairs start going in different directions.  I think it is safe to say that judging by the wall and the very small window in it, that used to be a window to the outside.  The stairs lead to a new part of the building, though I don’t know how old it is.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I am feeling a little lost with this building and don’t quite know what to do.  So please if you have any advice I would love to hear about it.

52 Comments
  1. Perhaps you can start photographing the individual windows,pairing a little something special about some of the inhabitants that have lived in the Bluestone over time. (=

    July 19, 2013
    • Maybe, though I did do some windows earlier. It is an idea, I might have to think about it, thank you.

      July 19, 2013
  2. Dunno what it is but something about your post appeals to me 🙂 I don’t know that I could add much more though.

    July 19, 2013
    • Thank you, and that is fine. 🙂

      July 19, 2013
  3. lucywilliamspoetry #

    You could use the poems that people posted about the place individually with a photo to accompany them?

    July 19, 2013
    • But I would need lots of different poems, to go with different photos. It is a tough one, I did that one post where I asked people to write, and it was great, but the next time I did it, I got nothing. So I am not sure. Thanks for your input Lucy.

      July 19, 2013
      • lucywilliamspoetry #

        Yea, fair point!

        July 20, 2013
      • That doesn’t mean I don’t think it isn’t a good idea and it might be something that we can, but some problems would need to be solved.

        July 21, 2013
  4. I wouldn’t mind seeing the attic. I’m drawn to attics and cellars and stuff.

    July 19, 2013
    • I don’t think there is an attic actually, well nothing that I can get into it. It does have a basement and I have done many posts of that. Thanks for you thoughts.

      July 19, 2013
  5. leecleland #

    When you say you don’t know where to go with these posts of the Bluestone do you mean – what more can you photograph, or how to wrap it all up so it’s finished, or how you can present it online or in print now that it IS finished. I’m sorry if I have missed somewhere the reason why you were photographing this place because if it was a project for someone the answers will be different than if you had permission to photograph for a personal project. I thought clarifying the question may help with some answers. I have enjoyed following your journey taking images of the Bluestone even though I only started this year.

    July 19, 2013
    • I have taken lots of photos, but I don’t know how many more I can do, I would like to include stories and info, but I am finding that so hard to get, no one wants to give me anything. I was hoping to follow along as they did the restoration, but as far as I know nothing has started. So if I keep doing the posts, I don’t quite know what I should do. I hope that makes more sense.

      July 19, 2013
      • leecleland #

        It sound like you have stalled and the Bluestone people have stalled too. Which isn’t very helpful and I can sense your frustration having put so much effort and time into this project.. Stories and info would have been great to get 😦
        As it is an heritage building (yes?) maybe an overall plan of the place including grounds with your photos linked to each area in some way. Like you did a post coming through the front door and seeing the stairs right ahead of you, I can’t remember if you showed us what was left and right of that door. That sort of thing, leading us through the building room by room and floor by floor in a logical (if that’s possible ) order.
        Just an idea, throwing it in the ring so to speak.
        I hope you get some good ideas from other bloggers to help you with this.

        July 19, 2013
      • I have definitely stalled. I feel like I am doing the same stuff over and over now.
        I like that idea, it is a heritage building. There are plans of the building there from the original designs, but they are up on a wall and hard to photograph, I have tried to photograph them, so perhaps I should just shown them and not worry how hard they are to photograph. The other idea is possible too. So thank you for taking the time to think about it and letting me know.

        July 20, 2013
      • leecleland #

        Glad I could be of some help

        July 20, 2013
  6. Hi Leanne,

    I know this is a separate activity from your portraiture work but I would like to see something that speaks of those who are or where there. Perhaps a long exposure to capture the blurred movement of people going down those stairs.

    I think about the space and what makes it special and the answer coming back to me is the people that have gone though it as students. I see the shadows on the walls cast by hands forming letters or words that relate back to the environment.

    Another aspect is detail. The signs of wear on a railing caught in the right light. Found object that personalise the environment.

    Keep at it!

    July 19, 2013
    • Some ghost images, I have thought of doing something similar, the main problem is that is that I would like the stories to go with them, it would be great to get more of the history, but I am finding that really hard. I don’t really know where to start with it all.
      I have thought of doing similar things, there is a lot of wear and tear, but the other problem is that the building is still used and it is hard to get to some areas.
      Thanks for your ideas.

      July 19, 2013
  7. How frustrating for you..shadows and nooks..corners and cornices…no ideas my friend 🙂 Fozziemum

    July 19, 2013
    • It is frustrating, I just don’t know what else to do. I feel like I have just about covered the whole building, and I am unsure what else I can do. Thanks Fozziemum. 🙂

      July 19, 2013
  8. I have many photos of ladders and keep thinking I’d like to do a post with them, but like you, I’m not sure where to go . Funny how sometimes it takes a while for an idea to come together.

    July 19, 2013
    • It can take a while, I will have to give it all more thought, I am sure there is an angle there somewhere.

      July 19, 2013
  9. Totally agree that having the human story is important. I highly recommend a visit to the State library and the Royal Historical society for some research followed by coffee.

    I did a quick search on the SLV catalogue and found this;

    Utmost for the highest: the story of the Victorian School for Deaf Children (formerly the Victorian Deaf and Dumb Institution-name changed 1949).

    John Hounslow Burchett
    Melbourne : Hall’s [1964].
    Available Find on shelf in La Trobe LT 371.912 B 89

    It would also be worth engaging with Vic Deaf http://www.vicdeaf.com.au/content.asp?id=5&t=our-history&cid=23

    Sorry, once a researcher, always a researcher…. 😉

    July 19, 2013
    • I know quite a bit already and have done posts on stuff I have found already, most of the historical records for the building are in the bluestone, they haven’t recorded a lot of stuff. There is a book, but I don’t seem to be able to get a copy or a loan of it. Thanks for the ideas,

      July 19, 2013
  10. I think a human connection would be nice. I think there’s a way to do it without the specific stories from this school (since that’s hard to get). I imagine there are some aspects of deafness that apply to many. So what if you took a quote, statement, wish or poem by a deaf person and let that be your guide?

    For example, I saw an article about 10 things you should never say to a deaf person. One of them was, “Can you read?” That line would lead me to shoot blackboards, notebooks, papers, graffiti, anything with handwriting.

    July 19, 2013
    • That is an interesting idea, I might have to give that some thought. It could be quite good. I have tried showing photos that go with stories that I have heard from previous students. I suppose I can expand on the idea more. Thank you Gina, that is pretty good.

      July 20, 2013
  11. Are there any interesting close-up details that you might want to show? Just a thought. http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

    July 19, 2013
    • That is one of the problems with the building, it was built to be functional not beautiful, if that makes sense. I have shown many of those details already. Maybe there are more and I just need to find them. Thank you Rusha.

      July 20, 2013
  12. The first photo is very intriguing – because it gives me a feeling that somebody (maybe a ghost) is creating a shadow on the wall. It’s the light .. but
    My favorite is the the last one … just love the different colors in different sections of the stairs … cold and warm. Excellent photo.

    July 19, 2013
    • Thanks Viveka, it is always interesting hearing what people think of the images, or how they feel, or rather what feelings are evoked by them.
      I like all the different angles in that last one, so weird.

      July 20, 2013
  13. Leanne, can you find former students and get them to write a paragraph about their stay at the Bluestone? You could then pair them with images and create a book, etc. I love the work you’ve done on the Bluestone.

    July 19, 2013
    • I like the idea, but I would need co-operation from DCA and I think they are too busy with what they are doing right now, and it is hard to get that. I understand that I am not high on their list, but it is a great idea and maybe it will be possible at some stage. I’ve tried to get photos of what it looked like back then and then I could show what it looks like now, but I haven’t been able to get the photos. I had the videos, but then I was told I shouldn’t use them because there are no captions for deaf people. I have some other ideas, so hopefully something will come of it. Thanks Anne.

      July 20, 2013
  14. Hope #

    Love the character of the building. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, and please give us more of these…

    July 19, 2013
    • It is a wonderful building with a lot of character. I have done many posts on it already, and I am sure there will be many more.

      July 20, 2013
  15. I don’t know if this will be of any help, but, my wife is an audiologist here in the States and there are several places that seem to have held onto a bit of their history. I would try contacting some audiologists in your area, maybe at a University, and see if there is not either someone who has been interested in preserving the history of this place, or someone who was a student or faculty, or had family there. I’m sure there are some great stories, though you might also have to find an interpreter. Good Luck!

    July 20, 2013
    • I know the history is all there in the building, but my biggest problem is getting access to it. I hate hassling them for it as I don’t want to make a pest of myself, but then I don’t get any info. I like the idea of doing more on the history, it is the access to it that is the problem. Thanks for the ideas.

      July 20, 2013
  16. artscottnet #

    amazing as always!, hoping you’re having a great day, and have an excellent weekend

    July 20, 2013
    • Thank you, my day is just starting, overcast and wet here, sounds like perfect photography weather, I hope. You have a good one too. 🙂

      July 20, 2013
  17. Very odd place for a window indeed, but kind of abstract too, to see the stairs going in different directions. Sorry I can’t offer help with the posts. 😦

    July 20, 2013
    • I think the window was there before the stairs, and they used that spot for the extension, that would be my guess, I like the way the window is just there. I think all the angles is what made me want to photograph it, it is strange. Thanks John.

      July 20, 2013
  18. hutchphotography2020 #

    The second shot of stairs is a great find. I wonder what one of your dark mysterious treatments would do for it.

    July 20, 2013
    • I have to agree Hutch, I find them so strange. I don’t know, do you think I should try, I did take some bracketed shots.
      Thanks Hutch.

      July 20, 2013
  19. Just possibly, some photos of the floor plans and marking them digitally to show a walk-through series spread over a good number of posts? In other words, plan layout followed by what you see when you walk through the marked areas?

    July 20, 2013
    • I might have to see about that, floor plans are hard to get, but I might see what I can find. Not a bad idea. Thanks

      July 20, 2013
  20. Wow, I love all the explainations you include along with your photos. I bet they look really strange going in 2 different directions.

    July 20, 2013
    • They do Keli, really strange, I knew I had to get an image of it. Thanks

      July 20, 2013
  21. I like how you caught the light and the feel of a certain atmosphere when looking at your photo’s of the stairs. They make you curious to see what they are hiding Great work.
    groetjes, Francina .

    July 20, 2013
    • Thank you Francina, it makes it look like a maze or something, quite strange. Probably why I like it.

      July 21, 2013
  22. Leanne, I haven’t fully explored or understood all you’ve tried to photograph. However, I thought of the following. Subject to shadows from external sources (trees, buildings, etc.), how does the exterior of the building appear in the morning an hour after sunrise? At noon? In the hour before sunset? How does the interior look (with long shadows)? How does the building (and its surroundings) appear under the light of the full moon? The focus is how the building seems to have a kind of “steady rock-solid permanence” (a safe place to call home) over a timescale of days or, even, months.

    July 21, 2013
    • That is an interesting idea, I’ve thought of doing through the seasons, but not really times of day. The biggest hurdle is that it is on the other side of the city, and not easy to get to, but I am sure I can work something out. Thank you, great idea.

      July 21, 2013

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