about stepping on the cracks

Hi! I’m Barb. I’m a writer and photographer living in nipaluna/Hobart.

I acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the Country on which I live, work and make my art, the palawa and pakana people of lutruwita. I recognise their continuing connection to this land and these waters.

I’ve been a writer my whole life. As a child, I loved creative writing and as I got older I dreamed of being a journalist. Now I write as part of my day job, and the elements of writing and research I enjoyed as a student have developed into key skills I use all the time at work: gathering large quantities of information, sifting through it to find the most important elements and writing a story from what I’ve learned.

I’ve kept a journal since I was ten years old. Journalling is now a daily practice that I can’t imagine not doing. My other major writing project is my mother’s life story.

I am also a photographer. Using photography to express my love of beauty and excellence, I find great joy in creating something beautiful out of something that isn’t. I particularly love photographing buildings and the spaces around them. My current photographic projects include Hobart Street Corners, an Instagram project that documents my city’s street corners as they were at one moment in time, and my website, which showcases some of my favourite photo galleries. I hang out on Instagram as straightlinesgirl and I have a photoblog for telling stories about my photographs.

I’m a nerdy introvert who craves silence and solitude. I’m not one for crowds. I stand on the sidelines and I gravitate towards the shadows. Away from the noise and the bright shiny objects, I have the space and the time I need to be in my head.

I especially enjoy long solitary walks. Walking is my exercise, my escape and the best way I know to explore my world. By walking, I’m learning to slow down and notice more.

I’m drawn to straight lines and sharp angles. These are key themes in my photography, and I embrace them without apology. I love making art that is neat and clean, minimalist, often in black and white, in the same way as I aim for simplicity in my writing. But I know that the world is a mixed-up, chaotic, constantly changing, colourful place and that I, too, despite my efforts, am imperfect. Nothing is permanent, and straight lines are an illusion, an ideal that doesn’t exist.

Rather than trying to deny the world’s imperfections and contradictions, I’m learning to embrace them and, more importantly, my own.

By doing this, I’ve learnt that, while I embrace who I am, it’s good to mix things up and not always follow the plan. So some days I step on the cracks instead of avoiding them, I colour outside the lines and I break the rules. I encourage myself to try new things for the sake of trying them, just to see what happens.

This blog, stepping on the cracks, is the story of my adventures in taking on new challenges and experimenting with new ideas as I explore how to make a meaningful life for myself.

People you might come across in my stories
Kramstable. The Boy. 14.
Slabs. The husband.
Lil Sis. The sister.
Mr Tall. The brother-in-law.

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