Sunday, September 27, 2009

Police and Justice Museum

One of my favourite places to go in Sydney is the Police and Justice Museum down at Circular Quay and this plaster cast of the 'pyjama girl' is one of my favourite items in the collection. There is so much fear and resigned sadness in that face. The policeman who modelled it, Cecil Jardine, has given her a grace that she wasn't given in death. It has haunted me since I first saw it many years ago.
pyjama girl                       

Sydney's criminal history is fascinating and the museum has some incredible collection items. One small room is filled with confiscated weapons, some dating back to the first Police Museum of 1910. They were originally collected at the scene of crimes and only viewed by trainee police. Looking at all the home made knives and knuckledusters and the brief details of their origin gives an insight into the tough world it was down at the Quay before it was gentrified.
In 2007 I was lucky to catch the exhibition 'City of Shadows' which you can read about here:

I used to live in Darlington so many of the photographs were of familiar streets, although they are now mostly home to cashed up inner city dwellers rather than the down-at-luck types seen in the mug shots. The book is a real gem...

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