Houses of West End
The Houses of West End project came about as a way to admire and document the many houses of West End, Brisbane, and their unique character.
I was born in a house in West End. I went to West End State School, then to Brisbane State High, and then to the Queensland College of Art. I did an awful lot of growing up in this suburb. For these reasons, and many more, I hold West End very dear to my heart.
As population increases, particularly in inner city areas, it is crucial that the concept of the high-rise apartment is not relied upon to solve housing problems. There needs to be community consultation and planning for all infrastructure. It cannot be assumed that apartment dwellers will not have cars or kids. They do. And this has associated impacts on schools, small streets, public transport, noise, light and air pollution, the availability of adequate green space, and the community as a whole.
The concerns of gentrification are not solely applicable to West End, but it is something I've seen firsthand in my 23 years of living in the suburb. Developers capitalising on the vibrant community of this suburb for their own financial gain is something I'm wary of. I think it's particularly problematic when developers create proposals that go against the local plan, but use their money, power and connections to undermine the law and locals' wishes.
Change is inevitable and I'm not suggesting that things stay exactly the same, however, the cost to the environment and the community as a result of these changes must be acknowledged and challenged. Especially so, if development is not necessary but is just for the sake of it.
Change can be hard to take. For this reason, I want to celebrate the many different houses of West End while they're still here. The illustrations serve partly as a coping mechanism, and partly as a way for each home to be appreciated for years to come! I want to learn more about the history of this part of Brisbane and gather stories from people who have lived in this suburb. It's the people that made these houses into homes.