Ten Years of Mirror Sydney

Ten years ago, in May 2012, I pressed ‘publish’ on the first post on this blog. With Mirror Sydney I wanted to turn a reflective eye onto the city and the suburbs, and record observations of places that were in some way out of step with the more rapaciously-changing, exclusive version of the city.

I started with a place that had been emblematic to me when I first moved into the inner city, the Camperdown Velodrome. When I came to know the velodrome, in the late 1990s, it was disused and overgrown. A few years afterwards it would be remodelled into a park and would cease to have a hold over me, but for that in-between time it carried the promise of the kinds of places I was drawn to, ones outside of the ordinary, where there was a stronger sense of the layers of time that make up the city. In its abandonment it had a sense of possibility, one shared by many places I have written about since. Such places suggest through time, and into the many versions of Sydney that co-exist, clashing and interweaving.

Mirror Sydney has become a view of the city that brings attention to what is just outside of immediate perception. This might be places hidden in plain sight, that hold some kind of resistant or subversive force, or anachronistic places that meddle with the illusion of now being only the present moment. Many of these places might be considered vanishing, or disappearing, but Mirror Sydney is as much about endurance, and persistence: what remains around us in our daily lives, in our memories, and in the stories we tell about the places that mean the most to us.

Thank you for reading and supporting Mirror Sydney in its various forms – blog, book and podcast – over the last decade, and I hope it has gone some way to inspire your own thoughts and connections with the city and its places. The Domain Expressway still runs, the ghost platform still fascinate, new contenders for the city’s ugliest building regularly arise, and there is always more to notice.

Strong afternoon sunlight and the other Harbour Bridge, Warwick Farm, 2017

Mirror Sydney Events and Talks

It’s a busy time in the world of Mirror Sydney, with the book newly released. Here are the talks and events I’ll be doing over the next few months, sharing stories from the book and the blog.

Until October 22nd, Mirror Sydney Maps, 55 Sydenham Road, Marrickville. An exhibition of original maps and illustrations from Mirror Sydney. Gallery is open Sat-Sun, 1-5pm.

October 14th, 12:30pm, Artspace Woolloomooloo: Reading at the Volume Book Art Fair. I’ll also be having a stall at the fair from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th, with copies of Mirror Sydney and a limited edition print from the book. More information on the fair here.

October 17th Sydney Launch of Mirror Sydney – Booked out, I’m sorry!

October 28th: Melbourne Launch of Mirror Sydney at Embiggen Books, 197-203 Lt Lonsdale Street.

November 1st, Mirror Sydney with Vanessa Berry, at the Sydney Mechanic School of Arts Library. 12:30 – 1:30pm, Mitchell Theatre.

November 4th, Writing Place in Fiction and Nonfiction, one-day writing course at the NSW Writer’s Centre.

November 28th, Mirror Sydney with Vanessa Berry at Cronulla Library, 6.30pm-7.30pm

December 5th, Mirror Sydney with Vanessa Berry at Rockdale Library, 6pm – 7pm.

I have some more events in the planning, too, and of course more stories to tell you, here on the blog and in person.


The world in Riverstone