Franklin St photographic exhibition brings some home truths


If Melbourne’s impending winter isn’t enough to remind you about the importance of a comfortable home, then a trip down Franklin St might do the trick.

A series of 26 photographic portraits, currently on display along the Metro Tunnel site fence, tells a powerful story about homemaking, and how it helps to build a haven and a sense of self.

Photographer Paul Dunn said he’d tried to capture the true meaning of home in each of the 26 portraits.


“We asked people to think about their connection to things [in their homes] which express their sense of themselves and their identity,” he said.


“There were common things like books and photographs, as well as quirky things, and things that represented connection to family, loved ones, friends and cultural identity.”

The portraits form part of The Opening Doors – Renting for All Project, created by disability advocacy group Action for More Independence and Dignity in Accommodation (AMIDA) and produced with the assistance of the Victorian Government.

“The project is really about raising awareness about people with disabilities, and their access to affordable housing and the capacity it gives them, and of course, all of us to create a home,” Mr Dunn said. “It’s really showing people’s capacity to flourish when they have access to secure housing where they can have some sense of independence.”

All of the people photographed are currently living with some form of disability, including prominent disability rights activist Kath Duncan.

“Kath is a very, very powerful advocate,” he said. “But in her home, we saw another side of Kath, where we got a beautifully tender photograph of her standing in front of some old family photographs. It’s one of my favourites in the exhibition.”

The evocative photographs invite onlookers into the person’s home in what Dunn hopes is a heart-warming experience.

“People are really proud of their home space, and what it gives them. That’s the point of connection for people walking past and looking into the rooms we chose for the photographs. It’s really about showing people’s pride [in their homes].”

The Home series is one of the latest installations as part of the Metro Tunnel Project’s Creative Program, which is helping keep Melbourne vibrant during construction of this city-shaping project.   

Construction is progressing well on the project’s twin tunnels and five new stations, which will open in 2025 – a year ahead of schedule. •

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