These are a couple more Bowden portraits that supplement the ones currently in the Bowden portfolio on my website. I didn’t do many formal portraits.
As I mentioned in the Preface I worked part time at Conroys Smallgoods in Bowden to buy the camera equipment to photograph Bowden. I recall making several portraits in the factory after we had finished working on Saturday morning.
Joe was the production foreman. He lived in the Salisbury/Elizabeth area of the northern suburbs of Adelaide. He worked long hours in the factory. It was a tough hard job.
I recall that I did a number of portraits at the Gibson Street studio of Bowden residents and the members of the Bowden Brompton Community Centre, which was formed in 1971. This Centre evolved from community action to encourage community growth, to provide community services and to address housing issues. The Bowden Brompton Community Group, which was first established in 1976, was very active in the 1980s fighting the issues of pollution, housing demolition, and the preservation of the residential community.
I recall that the housing issues were very pressing as the old housing stock was demolished to make way for industrial development. Bowden was seen as a space for industry and not a place for people. Even though the suburb was adjacent to the open spaces of the Adelaide parklands its developmental trajectory was industry expansion so that Bowden became an industrial park.
The old Hindmarsh Council on Port Rd viewed the expansion of industry as more working class jobs and it was indifferent to the greening of a neglected and rundown part of metropolitan Adelaide. What ensued during the late 1970s and 1980s was a sustained struggle on the part of local residents and community development workers to fight the lack of adequate local housing, use of industrial land,traffic flow and the ongoing planing process of state and local governments. The MATS plan was sucesfully resisted and subsequently the demolition of the area by industry, the Hindmarsh Council and the Highways Department was successfully resisted by local community groups.
The battle between residents and industry was constant during the 1980s. It wasn’t until the closure of the gasworks that dominated Brompton in 2000, and Clipsal Industries’ relocation from Bowden in 2009 that urban renewal started to take place.