From cream buns and vanilla slices to cheese-filled sausages and salad sandwiches, working-class culinary culture would not be the same without the lunch bar. Typically tucked away in a corner of the city’s suburban, industrial and commercial districts, lunch bars have sustained the work force with an array of no-frills fast food since the 1950s. For the past two years, Fremantle-based photographer Brett Leigh Dicks has been capturing this quirky and vibrant slice of Western Australiana, with its resemblance to another cultural icon: the Californian hole-in-the-wall taqueria (an eatery offering Mexican street food). Inspired by the aesthetic of the New Topographic photographers, Dicks’s austere lens draws out the surreal juxtaposition between lunch bars’ ostentatious signage and their dystopian surrounds.
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