The Adventures of Noddy - A Work in Progress

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit a development site in East Brunswick when the earthworks were in progress. The scene was almost post-apocalyptic, with enormous bluestone boulders being dug out and loaded onto huge trucks, some for recycling as pavers to be used in the development, others for the crusher.

It was a great backdrop for a shoot, albeit very hot, dusty and requiring fast footwork to dodge the heavy earthmoving equipment and the continuous fleet of trucks. There was a tight deadline as the site was to be cleared within a couple of weeks.

I was not sure what to shoot until I found a large boulder which had a basic house shape.  Armed with a few tins of spray paint and some plastic flowers, the rock was soon transformed into a very organic little single fronted house in a community of other unpainted rocks.

 House shaped rock reveals itself

House shaped rock reveals itself

As the images emerged I was reminded of Noddy, one of my childhood faves. The series is a metaphor for life and the randomness of our tenure. It is evocative and whimsical.

While painting the rock, many of the neighbours in the adjoining apartments came out onto their balconies and shouted encouragement.  One very generous couple let me take some aerial shots of the site and “Noddy” from their balcony. 

 View from the neighbour's balcony

View from the neighbour's balcony

The men using the earth moving equipment were incredibly helpful.  They lent a ladder so that Noddy’s roof could be reached.  The rock itself weighs about a ton and is around 6 feet tall.  They very dexterously picked him up in the shovel for a shot and then carefully dropped him onto his side for another.  I must say he looked abandoned on his side.  The next day I received an email from distressed neighbours in the adjoining apartment asking what had happened to him. It is amazing how this rock has captured the hearts of the local community. Even the truckies paid their respects to Noddy’s house, beeping on arrival and departure.

 View of the morning after - Noddy on his side. 

View of the morning after - Noddy on his side. 

 When Noddy was due to be taken to the crusher, the workmen were disappointed.  It was decided that he would remain on site at the entrance as a kind of mascot.  I will share his exploits in a bittersweet series called “The Adventures of Noddy". The first chapter  - “Noddy’s Gone” is uploaded on this site in the WORKS section. The next chapter is in the pipeline – “Noddy Escapes the Crusher” .  Stay tuned………