17 Union Street Photography Competition Winner Announcement 2024

Now in its second iteration, the 17 Union Street Photography Competition by Neometro this year welcomed entries that celebrated Brunswick: People & Place. And the winner is…

Long recognised as a Place for People, Brunswick has been the recent inspiration for the 2024 17 Union Street Photography Competition which presented a fascinating documentary view of Brunswick’s urban milieu.

Judging of the photographic entries was a two-phase process. First, a survey was digitally shared with the residents of 17 Union Street, Brunswick so that recipients could vote for their favourite submission. Second, a panel consisting of Neometro Design Director Jeff Provan, established architectural photographer Derek Swalwell and three 17 Union Street residents voted on their 1st, 2nd and 3rd favourite submissions which, when considered alongside the survey results and then tallied gave two deserved runners-up and a winner!

Entry by Colin MacGillivray

Second Runner Up - Colin MacGillvray

Colin's entry depicts a cultural mainstay of Brunswick in all its colour and beat - the street market. Sheltered by the Collier Clothing carpark in Hope Street Brunswick, the photograph captures a snapshot of a clothing market in full swing complete with the area's trademark industrial streetscape adorned in graffiti. It is an image that distils the essence of Brunswick into a single frame, perfectly narrating its civic edge, the authenticity of its people and the kaleidoscopic grit of its streetscapes.

Entry by Pravienan Puvimanasingam

First Runner-Up - Pravienan Puvimanasingam

A panorama of Sydney Road on a wet night is captured by Pravienan’s lens. Displayed across the entire frame are the real estate listings in a closed commercial shopfront. Scurrying off to the right is a lone figure with an umbrella. The whole scene is rendered with a desire to buy a home, rent a home, find a home, be home.

Image by Vince Ward

Winner - Vince Ward

Unanimously voted as the winning entry, Vince’s photograph titled ‘Corner’ elicits an engaging humour in its portrayal of an eclectic back street off Sydney Road. It cleverly captures a dog, Ernesto, leg crooked on a storefront corner, the street stretching away in one direction while the facades in the other are reflected in the storefront window. It freeze frames a quintessentially Brunswick mini-narrative, where dogs abound, the senses are triggered and the urban playground is defined by a heady mix of people, architecture, culture, restaurants and graffiti.

In Vince’s own words;

‘The work, titled "Corner," depicts what most people see and smell around the neighbourhood and urban areas of Brunswick but rarely can pinpoint exactly where and what it is. Small, low-down places, too dirty for even the shortest adults to interact with, are vital communication alleys for the domestic dogs of Brunswick. These places are overlooked by most but are favourite drawcards for the four-legged mutts. Information hotspots. The photo shows the slow change of Brunswick as the 21st Century grips tighter. In the window reflection, Godfather's Famous Pizza has now removed 'God' from its name, turning its back on the crass mafia selling point as if it were ever a good thing to celebrate. The window houses the epitome of mass-produced, mostly useless, and void of any quality $2 items from Dollar Magic, in a prominent corner building that has so far remained prime for development for years. Across the road, the For Lease sign tries to capture the attention of the next entrepreneur game enough to try something fresh but will most likely be overwhelmed by the dozens of other For Lease signs and over time, gently morph into the fabric of the heritage street facade unnoticed. The car with its shiny and vulgar rims: a clear reference to the ongoing debate over what can be done to help Sydney Rd continue to thrive for years to come. As times change, will the car still dominate the street, or will it become a Place for People again? What is the message being written low on the corner? We who read will never know, but the oncoming doggo will.’

Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo for the competition. It was great to receive such a wide variety of entries. You can find out more about the runner ups via their Instagrams here and here, and also see more of Ernesto's adventures on Vince's Instagram here. Words by Tiffany Jade.