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David P. Millar

(Murray)

(b Sydney, April 6, 1927).

Australian photographer. He was introduced to the creative possibilities of the camera when his father brought home a book on the work of Edward Weston. From 1948 until 1951 he worked in the studio of Max Dupain, where he learnt professional studio techniques during the week, walking the streets with a camera in his spare time. A rigorous apprenticeship refined an inherent aesthetic sensitivity. His growing interest in photojournalism then led Moore to London. He was commissioned by Time, Life, Fortune, Look and The Observer and was also included in the famous exhibition at MOMA, New York, the Family of Man (1955).

In 1958 Moore returned to Sydney, where he specialized in American magazine and industrial commissions, notably with Life Books, National Geographic and Exxon. As the public became sated by photojournalistic essays, and the magazines that published them were undermined by the popularity of television, Moore refined his work; instead of the dramatic situation and the climactic moment, he began, as he said, ‘to look for the ordinary and show how extraordinary and meaningful it is’. In the 1970s, influenced by the coastal landscape of his Lobster Bay retreat, he began to explore form, sensuality and rhythm. Moore’s work has a spontaneous freshness that can transform the otherwise straight picture. He had an unerring ability to capture the underlying forms within his subject and to be sensitive to the relationships of their shapes. Underpinning these strengths is a warmth of feeling for the world and the people that inhabit it, thereby avoiding a cerebral and analytical result....

Article

John B. Turner

[ Anna ] ( Jacoba )

(b Leiden, April 28, 1936).

New Zealand photographer of Dutch birth. Inspired by the Family of Man exhibition, which she saw in 1957 in Amsterdam, and Johan van der Keuken’s book, Wij Zijn 17 (We are seventeen) in 1956, Westra documented her classmates at the Industrieschool vor Meisjes in Rotterdam, where she studied arts and craft teaching. Holidaying in New Zealand in 1957 she was captivated by the relaxed lifestyle of the indigenous Maori people and stayed to photograph them. Encouraged by assignments from the Maori Affairs Department’s magazine Te Ao Hou (The New World) in the early 1960s, her work, at first romantic, became increasingly insightful as she documented contemporary Maori life. In 1964 Westra was at the centre of a public controversy when the government ordered the pulping of one of her primary school bulletins, Washday at the Pa (e.g. Wheeee! Baby Erua is all gurgles as… ). This essay on the life of a rural Maori family living in a dilapidated farmhouse was deemed by her critics, especially the Maori Women’s Welfare League, to reinforce stereotypes of Maori as backwards and unambitious....