When the lights go off and the crowds disperse, a public building doesn’t just clean itself. In his series, entitled Melbourne Cleaners, Australian photographer Greg Briggs recognizes the hard work that goes into maintaining the illusion of an always-clean gallery, art museum, movie theater, or ornate church. The beautifully meditative series is a study both on human behavior as well as architectural spaces throughout the city of Melbourne, Australia.
The artist captures what seem like voyeuristic moments as cleaners go about their work in some of the city’s important and iconic buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Queens Hall, Parliament House. Surrounded by classic architecture and famous artwork, each individual concentrates on the task at hand and seems completely unaware of the camera’s presence. Viewers can almost hear the low hum of polishing machines, the soft whoosh of feathers dusting across the nooks of a picture frame, and the splatter of bottle spraying cleaner along the surface of glass.