Sydney People

Designer, photographer and milk bar fan

“I have to confess straight up to being a milk bar junkie. I’ve been taking photos of our disappearing milk bars for more than a decade and have captured around 200. 

I grew up in Geelong and riding down to Dave’s milk bar for some mixed lollies, a milkshake, a sausage roll or an ice-cream was my first taste of independence. 

When I went back a decade later, Dave’s was gone, as had so many of the milk bars in my town.

It got me thinking about the importance of the Australian milk bar – as a family, community, and friendly service, and as a migrant success story. You got your news of the world from there, the weekly food supplies, life advice from the owner who knew your name, you watched their children grow up, and they watched yours.

I have thousands of milk bar photos showing fading signs, dusty shelves, paper straws and metal cups. During Art & About they will feature on the banner gallery throughout the city and I think the images fit perfectly with the ‘endangered’ festival theme.

I feel I need to capture our milk bars before they completely disappear from the Australian landscape.”

Image by Mark Lobo. 

See the full program for Art & About 2014

Last updated: Friday, 26 September 2014