StoryBombing – Ashfield Sound Bites

About the project

Ashfield Sound Bites was a  2019 project between EDGE Inner West & Spineless Wonders

6 Local illustrators were paired with 6 local writers, to illustrate their short stories.
The story I illustrated was written by Sheryl Dixit

The final printed artwork was made up of 3 panels, each 1x1.2m in size

All

A Tale Of Two Ashfields

Sheryl Dixit

It feels strange, standing outside West Ashfield Leagues Club. A strong sense of deja vu washes over you. ‘Tic-tic-tic’, you wait for the signal light to turn green. ’C’’mon’, your child whinges grumpily in his pram. You’re busting to use the toilet. It’s been years since you’ve stood at this spot, but nothing’s changed.

 

You’ve always felt that this junction outside the Club is the divide between two cities. Just off Liverpool Road on your left is Ashfield Park where you used to waddle with your swelling belly, enjoying the warmth of spring days and a crisp chill as the sun went down. Quarrelling cockatoos and multi-hued galahs livened up the scenery. Well-groomed dogs barked at shrill magpies. You walked down the lanes, past gardens redolent with the fragrance of roses.As dusk fell you would hear the chink of cutlery on crockery behind lace curtains covering stained glass windows. Later in the evenings there was always a sense of peace with the world. A stillness that you felt grateful to be a part of as you’ve always been a child of silence.

 

But as Liverpool Road wound around to the heart of the city centre, you would enter a different world. The sound of pneumatic drills on pavements invariably welcomed your arrival. The hum of humanity going about its business would grow to a muted crescendo as the morning progressed. People in deep conversation would manoeuvre basket pulleys or prams around the mall and shops. Mobile phones were basic then, so people talked; conversing on benches outside the community centre, laughing outside the library, school children chatted and giggled as they walked in an uneven line on a school excursion, herded by frazzled teachers. This was where the pulse of the city buzzed with Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Bangla, Italian, Vietnamese, Maltese and a smattering of English. A thrum of sound that you boldly walked through. It offered everyone a sense of belonging as well as remembrance of their homelands. Both ‘cities’ were hugely comforting to a newly arrived migrant with few acquaintances. And when the sounds of the city centre turned to cacophony, you could simply walk back to the serenity of ‘your city’.

 

After many years, you walk these streets again. You do not clasp the handle of a pram but rather your child’s hand. Your hair is streaked with silver. Ashfield has not changed. The cities are still divided – each with a diverse persona. Somehow you feel relieved. You will not actively seek out its streaks of silver, because in a rapidly changing world, it reassures you that some things remain the same. Including this darned signal light that takes forever to turn green.

It feels strange, standing outside West Ashfield Leagues Club. A strong sense of deja vu washes over you. ‘Tic-tic-tic’, you wait for the signal light to turn green. ’C’’mon’, your child whinges grumpily in his pram. You’re busting to use the toilet. It’s been years since you’ve stood at this spot, but nothing’s changed.


You’ve always felt that this junction outside the Club is the divide between two cities. Just off Liverpool Road on your left is Ashfield Park where you used to waddle with your swelling belly, enjoying the warmth of spring days and a crisp chill as the sun went down. Quarrelling cockatoos and multi-hued galahs livened up the scenery. Well-groomed dogs barked at shrill magpies. You walked down the lanes, past gardens redolent with the fragrance of roses.As dusk fell you would hear the chink of cutlery on crockery behind lace curtains covering stained glass windows. Later in the evenings there was always a sense of peace with the world. A stillness that you felt grateful to be a part of as you’ve always been a child of silence.

But as Liverpool Road wound around to the heart of the city centre, you would enter a different world. The sound of pneumatic drills on pavements invariably welcomed your arrival. The hum of humanity going about its business would grow to a muted crescendo as the morning progressed. People in deep conversation would manoeuvre basket pulleys or prams around the mall and shops. Mobile phones were basic then, so people talked; conversing on benches outside the community centre, laughing outside the library, school children chatted and giggled as they walked in an uneven line on a school excursion, herded by frazzled teachers. This was where the pulse of the city buzzed with Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Bangla, Italian, Vietnamese, Maltese and a smattering of English. A thrum of sound that you boldly walked through. It offered everyone a sense of belonging as well as remembrance of their homelands. Both ‘cities’ were hugely comforting to a newly arrived migrant with few acquaintances. And when the sounds of the city centre turned to cacophony, you could simply walk back to the serenity of ‘your city’.

After many years, you walk these streets again. You do not clasp the handle of a pram but rather your child’s hand. Your hair is streaked with silver. Ashfield has not changed. The cities are still divided – each with a diverse persona. Somehow you feel relieved. You will not actively seek out its streaks of silver, because in a rapidly changing world, it reassures you that some things remain the same. Including this darned signal light that takes forever to turn green.

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