Written by NICOLLE VALE
Nowadays when a young person thinks of Adelaide, words like ‘uninspiring’, ‘small’, and ‘boring’ spring to their mind. Most people think of Adelaide as a large country town – everyone knows everyone here. Many think that Adelaide is just not as exciting as the other capitals. After all, the most famous thing we can offer is a pair of silver balls and we are constantly being rejected by bands and performers who bypass us when touring Australia. I’ve heard Adelaide being described as a ‘hole’ more than a few times. Truthfully, most of the people I know would rather be living in Melbourne or Sydney. However, there is a friend of mine who one day decided to reacquaint herself with this city and she soon became intrigued by what she found.
19-year-old Denise Nolasco is a blogger, amateur photographer and a self-confessed sucker for pop culture. On her trips to see family in Brisbane, Denise would often go out and wander alone, taking in the atmosphere of a different city.
“After I had successfully trekked around Brisbane during my little family visits, I thought – why couldn’t I do the same thing at home?” Denise said.
In 2009, when Denise took a year off from school, she found herself with a lot of time on her hands and not much to do. This is when she began exploring Adelaide. On her days off work, she would wander around the CBD, often visiting the Botanic Gardens for a stroll or to read a book.
“I just find it so therapeutic and exciting. I like knowing that there is growth in the city,” she said.
At first it was boredom that led her to wander around, but as her passion for photography grew, so did her purpose for exploring Adelaide.
“Buying my first analogue camera definitely took these adventures to an entirely different level, because instead of just aimlessly walking around, I started trekking with purpose,” Denise said.
“Holding a camera in your hands and looking at your surroundings through a lens definitely forces you to see everything in a different light. You start seeing new and exciting things in places you thought you knew like the back of your hand.”
Of all the interesting things Denise has found on her travels, it is the unique Adelaide street art that she loves to photograph most.
“I enjoy taking photos of street art because I want people to know that Adelaide has a lot more to offer than it first seems – you just have to go looking for it. Also, as street art is ‘illegal’, it has always stunned me at how someone can paint something so amazing on to a wall without getting caught,” she said.
“I am currently in love with Topham Wall because it is street art that is not only certified, but changes every day.”
Her love for Adelaide’s street art has not only given her the fuel to practice her photography but has also led her to a variety of unique murals and stores nestled within the nooks and crannies of the city.
Some of her favourite finds include the Morphett Street mural, Paper String Plastic (an art gallery on Hindley Street), the Reading Room and the Workshop. It was her discovery of these last two places that also gave her a sudden interest in the government’s plans for Adelaide.
“I soon found out that these two places were part of a government incentive called Renew Adelaide, focused on rebuilding/filling all of the empty shop fronts within the Adelaide CBD with creative, conceptual stores.”
“I’ve found myself extremely interested in the changes to Adelaide’s urban infrastructure and have invested a fair amount of time researching the matter. It’s exciting!”
“Adelaide’s new Lord Mayor, Stephen Yarwood, has a very interesting plan on transforming Adelaide and it seems that a lot of it has to do with making Adelaide ‘younger’.”
“I think that Adelaide dwellers are just so stuck in thinking that Adelaide is boring and dull that they just blatantly ignore any changes being made to the infrastructure.”
Her time spent exploring Adelaide has not only given Denise a better appreciation of this city, but has also given her an interest in its future and she thoroughly encourages others to follow her footsteps.
Most of us are content with walking around other cities and falling in love with them, but we keep forgetting that there is one sitting right under us, waiting to be explored.
You can check out Denise’s blog at http://Okay-Awesome.tumblr.com .
Denise also makes up one half of the blogging team Kerri and Eva. Visit their site at http://kerri-and-eva.tumblr.com/