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Article

Charles Green

(b Melbourne, 1955).

Australian photographer. Henson attended Prahran College of Advanced Education, Melbourne, but, precocious and fiercely independent, discontinued his studies in 1975. Recognition by art museums was immediate and his first solo exhibition was at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria at the age of 19. From that point onwards, he was noted for his immensely ambitious, large series of photographs, almost always collectively and individually titled Untitled, each title only differentiated by date. He consistently depicted two subjects: night-time views of industrial and suburban panoramas in and around Melbourne, and carefully choreographed portrayals of adolescents, usually photographed in the studio. Henson’s 1979 and 1980–82 black-and-white photographs of lonely-looking figures in crowds were the works that first brought him great acclaim, but his mid-1980s polyptychs of young girls, junkies and naked street children, juxtaposed with views of Baroque palaces and museums and shown at the 1988 Venice Biennale, were the occasion for the first of many, highly sensational public controversies surrounding the artist’s depiction of naked adolescents. Henson’s juxtaposition of a sexual underworld with the art and architecture of museums embodied a widely shared Post-modern notion of cultural dislocation whilst at the same time communicating, thanks to Henson’s prodigious virtuosity and study of older art, the pathos and self-possession familiar from Baroque painting....

Article

David P. Millar

[Francis]

(b Sydney, Oct 15, 1885; d Sydney, Jan 16, 1962).

Australian photographer, film producer, film maker and writer. He was introduced to photography while working at a steel foundry in Lithgow, NSW, when his foreman would take him on photographic excursions into the nearby Blue Mountains. After an apprenticeship with a photographic postcard firm, where he gained a reputation for achieving spectacular effects with the camera, he was appointed official photographer to the Australian geologist and explorer Douglas Mawson’s Antarctic Expedition of 1911–13. The success of his prints and film footage led to his involvement with British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914–16), where he produced another crop of dramatic images, which told the story of the ill-fated attempt to cross Antarctica. On a visit to England, Hurley was appointed Official War Photographer with the Australian troops, first in Flanders and later in Palestine.

In the early 1920s Hurley undertook two assignments in New Guinea, the resulting films leading to a tour of the USA and the publication in New York of his successful book ...

Article

John R. Neeson

Installation art is a hybrid of visual art practices including photography, film, video, digital imagery, sound, light, performance, happenings, sculpture, architecture, and painted and drawn surfaces. An installation is essentially site specific, three-dimensional, and completed by the interaction of the observer/participant in real time and space. The point of contention with any definition concerns the site specificity, ephemerality, and consequently ‘collectability’ of the work itself. One view has it that the category installation is presupposed on the transitory and impermanent, the second that an installation can be collected and re-exhibited as a conventional work of art.

In either case installation had its genesis in the environments and happenings devised by artists in the 1950s in New York and Europe (Nouveau Réalisme in France, Arte Povera in Italy). These in turn had antecedents in the architectural/sculptural inventions such as the various Proun rooms of El Lissitzky and the Merzbau of Kurt Schwitters...

Article

Helen Ennis

(Joyce )

(b Melbourne, March 14, 1949; d Melbourne, Feb 21, 1980).

Australian photographer. She studied photography at Prahran College of Advanced Education in Melbourne from 1967 to 1970, graduating with a Diploma of Art and Design. She received a technical teacher’s certificate from Hawthorn Teachers College in 1971 and during the 1970s taught photography in Melbourne, Sydney, and Hobart. Her earliest photographs were in the photo-documentary style that was taken up by many young Australian photographers involved in the burgeoning art photography movement in the 1970s. She worked in black and white, generally taking photographs with the consent of her subjects. She did not use flash or distorting wide-angle lenses because she wanted her photographs to be ‘natural’ and ‘real’. Jerrems began to exhibit in Melbourne in 1973 and in 1974 her photographs of a broad spectrum of Australian women were published in A Book about Australian Women, which she worked on with writer Virginia Fraser. The book was an introduction to International Women’s Year and reflected Jerrems’s feminist politics and desire to effect social change....

Article

David P. Millar

(Henry)

(b Monaro Uplands, NSW, April 3, 1858; d Sydney, May 26, 1928).

Australian photographer. He worked as an operator in a carte-de-visite business in Sydney. When popularity for this photographic form of portraiture collapsed in the 1870s, he turned to a new and eventually lucrative business: scenic views of rural and urban Australia. Coinciding with the invention of the collodion dry plate process, which gave him more freedom of movement, he used the recently expanded railway system to reach places of photographic interest. By the 1890s his work dominated the photographic view business in Sydney; he had become more of a businessman than a photographer, employing several touring operators to meet his commitments.

The severe depression of the 1890s forced many photographers to close their businesses, and the demand for views dwindled alarmingly. Kerry, sensing that the growing postcard trade could become the basis for commercial advancement, began to produce photographic postcards. By 1910 Kerry & Co emerged as Australia’s largest publishers of postcards. Using presses in Germany to print his huge orders, and operating out of a large, four-storey building in Sydney, he had the income to indulge other interests such as horse racing, skiing and fishing. Kerry’s photographs, and those of his assistants, were avowedly commercial in subject-matter; they showed, through a misty-eyed nationalism, the heroic toil of settlers breaking in the land and the optimistic growth of Australia’s principal cities. Kerry and his company confirmed a young nation’s perception about itself, with images that have become visual icons of Victorian colonial Australia....

Article

Michael Dunn

(b London, Sept 17, 1819; d Auckland, Sept 5, 1903).

English painter and photographer, active also in New Zealand. By profession he was an Anglican minister and school-teacher. An accomplished watercolour painter, he had studied under Aaron Penley (1807–70) at Southampton in 1835–6. His interests in architectural sketching were furthered when he was at Cambridge by his membership of the Camden Society in 1842. In 1855 he emigrated to New Zealand, settling in Auckland. Kinder is noted for his quiet but lyrical topographical views of the New Zealand landscape and settlements between 1855 and 1890, for example the watercolour On Mercury Island (1857; Auckland, A.G.) and Te Kohukohu (1858; Auckland, A. G.). He made historic photographic and painted records of Anglican missions to the Maori and of sites of battles during the Land Wars of the 1860s. He was a founder-member of the Auckland Society of Artists. There is a major collection of his work in the Auckland Art Gallery....

Article

Blair French

(b Brisbane, Aug 16, 1959).

Australian photographer. She is best known for her various large-scale colour photographic series produced from the mid-1990s onwards. Sometimes she depicted figures in the midst of carefully staged, physically expressive acts; on other occasions she has inserted forms and objects, for example carpets or furniture, into landscape settings. Her photographs merge approaches and visual structures drawn from painting, performance, cinema and the history of photography, resulting in images that dramatize the conditions and effects of human encounter with both natural and cultural environments.

Through the 1990s, Laing depicted this relationship in terms of encounters with technology, in particular technologies of flight and velocity. In her brownwork and airport (1996–7) series, Laing photographed the technological apparatus of air transport, in some instances posing figures in performative relationships to such machinery. She later photographed even more technologically sophisticated flight machinery in her NASA works (1998–9). In flight research...

Article

Michael Dunn

(b Suva, Fiji, Nov 8, 1908; d Auckland, April 1993).

New Zealand painter and photographer. He studied at the Elam School of Art, Auckland (1924–6). From 1930 to 1938 he worked in London, attending classes at the Central School of Art and Design. On his return to New Zealand he lived in various country towns in the Auckland and Northland districts, where he painted the scenes of provincial New Zealand on which his reputation rests (e.g. ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Brisbane, Nov 12, 1960).

Australian Aboriginal photographer and film maker. After graduating from Queensland College of Art, Brisbane (1982), she moved to Sydney, later dividing her time between Sydney and New York. Moffatt began her career as an experimental film maker and as a producer of music videos, and she continued making films after establishing herself as a photographer. At her first solo exhibition in 1989 (Sydney, Austral. Cent. Phot.) she presented the series Something More (six cibachrome and three black-and-white photographs, each 1×1.3 m, priv. col. see B. Reinhardt, ed., p. 28) which won her swift international acclaim. These theatrically staged and painted tableaux tell the story of a young woman’s ill-fated journey to seek success in a big city. The influence of cinema on these landscapes points to Moffatt’s wider interest in popular culture, suggesting her desire to draw upon the collective memory embodied in traditional stories as well as in film and television. Her concern with power relations is demonstrated in the series ...

Article

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

(b Berlin, Oct 31, 1920; d Los Angeles, Jan 23, 2004).

Australian photographer of German birth. He was brought up in Germany and apprenticed to the fashion and theatre photographer Yva from 1936 to 1938. In the latter year he went to Australia and, acquiring Australian nationality, worked as a freelance photographer in Sydney in the mid-1940s for Jardin des modes, Elle, Queen, Playboy and others. In 1958 he began working as a fashion photographer, predominantly for French and American Vogue and for Stern, producing images that were often overtly erotic, sometimes with violent undertones. In 1961 he settled in Paris. Though primarily a fashion photographer, he also took a number of portrait photographs of celebrities, such as Salvador Dalí, Figueras (1986; see Portraits, p. 191). From 1981 he divided his time between Monte Carlo and Los Angeles.

Newton, Helmut publications World Without Men (London, 1984) Portraits: Photographs from Europe and America (London, 1987) [with intro. by C. Squiers]...

Article

Daniel Palmer

(b Lower Hutt, April 15, 1945).

New Zealand photographer, painter, curator and writer, active also in Australia. North began photographing and painting as a teenager, producing photographs as ‘notes for paintings’ from his motorbike in the early to mid-1960s. He completed a certificate of General Design at the School of Design, Wellington (1966) and a Bachelor of Arts degree at Victoria University, Wellington (1967), majoring in English Literature. North was appointed as the Director of Manawatu Art Gallery in 1969, before moving to Adelaide in 1971 to take up the role of Curator of Paintings at the Art Gallery of South Australia (1971–80). He also completed an MA at Flinders University, Adelaide (1977). From 1980–84 he was Foundation Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, before and after the museum opened to the public in 1982. Although born in New Zealand, North arrived in Australia in ...

Article

William Main

(b Auckland, Nov 2, 1941).

New Zealand photographer. In 1974 he attended a Photo-Forum workshop tutored by John B. Turner, a lecturer of considerable importance in New Zealand photographic education. Exhibitions and published works followed, with the dark, ill-defined images of his folio Mars Hotel (1975) serving to denote his individualistic stance. Portraiture featured prominently in his early work, and he frequently made self-portraits (e.g. A. NZ, p. 25); the photographs are pervaded by a sense of anxiety and dislocation and have been likened to film stills. In the late 20th century he was taking natural features and animals as his subjects, producing images that are stark and slightly menacing.

Art New Zealand, 8 (1977–8), pp. 19, 25, 65–7A. Johnston: ‘Peter Peryer’, Anxious Images: Aspects of Recent New Zealand Art (exh. cat., Auckland, C.A.G., 1984), pp. 53–8Peter Peryer/Photographs (exh. cat. by J. Barr and M. Barr, Wanganui, Sarjeant A.G., 1985), pp. 25–31...

Article

Helen Ennis

Photography in Australia has many parallels with that in other countries but it also has many significant differences that are the result of specific historical conditions and circumstances. Features in common include the rapid acceptance of photographic technologies, the importance of portraiture and the view of trade in the 19th century, the engagement with international styles such as Pictorialism, the prominent role of illustrative and advertising photography from the 1920s onwards, and the impact of modernism, Post-modernism, and post-colonialism. These features are not unique to Australia—they can be seen as manifestations of photography’s globalizing impulses—but nonetheless they do have a particular local or national inflection. Equally important are the aspects of Australian photographic practice that are different to photography elsewhere. Chief among these is the photography associated with relations between indigenous and settler Australians. Photographs of Aboriginal people were prominent in the 19th century and photographs by Aboriginal people have been central to Australian photographic practice and the broader visual arts since the early 1980s. Also conspicuous is an orientation towards the external world and the prevalence of realist approaches, which can be related to materialist preoccupations and anti-intellectual traditions that have underpinned national life in some periods....

Article

John B. Turner

The pattern of development in photography in New Zealand was similar to other colonies in the Victorian era. Progress was slow because of the country’s geographical remoteness and small population. Difficulties of overseas supply and local demand—the very traffic of equipment, materials, ideas, and pictures—have shaped all levels of achievement. Pioneer photographers were participant-observers in the process of nation building who could not but see the world according to the values of their upbringing. For instance, after the wars over land ceased in the 1880s, defeated Maori were imagined as a dying race and their culture was studied with fresh urgency. Maori subjects were common among photographers; the treatments ranging from nostalgic romanticism to abject realism.

Pictorial photography, photography’s first international art movement, dominated the camera club movement throughout the first half of the 20th century, and effectively muted the radical social precepts of modernism to the point of portraying it as an essentially anti-Pictorialist movement. In a society where art practice tends more towards the experiential than cerebral, the influence of Post-modernism, generally perceived as an anti-modernist movement, in its turn seems largely academic....

Article

(b Hobart, Aug 27, 1836; d Sydney, July 17, 1914).

Australian painter, printmaker and photographer of French descent. He studied painting at Cambridge House in Hobart, where he won the prize for drawing in 1849. Between 1850 and 1872 he worked as a draughtsman for the Tasmanian Survey Office, receiving additional instruction in art from Frank Dunnett (1822–91), a retired Scottish painter and engraver. In the mid-1860s he began exhibiting his paintings and made his first lithographed views, mostly of the River Derwent and its environs. In 1870 he received a bronze medal for his photographs at the Intercolonial Exhibition in Sydney. In 1872 he left his job and became Australia’s first native-born professional painter and a major artist working in the 19th-century Romantic landscape tradition, capturing the form and spirit of the vast Australian landscape. He spent much of the 1870s accompanying organized expeditions into the central and south-western wilderness of Tasmania in search of compelling subjects to paint. In ...

Article

Derek Schulz

(b Wanganui, New Zealand, Sept 4, 1941).

Maori sculptor. He graduated from the University of Auckland School of Fine Art in 1962 and lived in England from 1963 to 1974. He undertook postgraduate studies in sculpture and photography under Hubert Dalwood at Hornsey College of Art, London (1965–6), and exhibited in group shows in England during the 1960s and early 1970s. His sculpture is characterized by an uncompromising use of common building materials adopted to a formal abstraction. As such it was part of a reaction in the mid-1960s to the sculpture of Anthony Caro, and a robustly independent response to the American Minimalism associated with such artists as Donald Judd and Carl Andre. Pine’s interests, however, were always eclectic and his work reflected a wide range of architectural and cultural references. His return to New Zealand in 1974 consolidated this aspect of his sculpture as he began to explore the architecture and arts of Maoritanga. His ...

Article

Janda Gooding

(b Melbourne, Aug 31, 1861; d Melbourne, Sept 4, 1946).

Australian painter, printmaker and curator, who worked mostly in Western Australia. While working in the photographic trade, Pitt Morison studied part time (1881–9) at the National Gallery School in Melbourne. He formed a friendship with the artist Tom Humphrey (1858–1922) and soon after he became associated with, and exhibited with, a group that included Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton. The group, later known as the Heidelberg school, painted en plein air in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, around Box Hill and Heidelberg, experimenting with new theories of light and colour derived from the French Impressionists. Pitt Morison travelled to Europe in 1890 and studied at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jules Lefebvre and William Bouguereau..

Pitt Morison was forced to return to Australia in 1893, due to the collapse of Victorian banks and the subsequent loss of his income. A job in the photographic trade in Bunbury offered him an opportunity to move and he arrived in Western Australia in ...

Article

(b Melbourne, Sept 24, 1937).

Australian painter and photographer. From 1954 to 1957 he studied graphic design at the Swinburne College of Technology in Melbourne, where Dale Hickey was a fellow student. The year of his entry he began to exhibit at the Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne. His early work was influenced by figurative artists such as Ben Shahn and the illustrations of Andy Warhol and also by Charles Blackman, whom he knew personally. Later he came under the influence of Francis Bacon, as shown in The Fall (1963; artist’s col., see Catalano, p. 148), which was derived from a photograph of Benito Mussolini.

From the late 1950s Rooney was interested in ‘trivia’—odds and ends he found in old books, cartoons and illustrations. These formed his ‘Spon collection’ and some of it was incorporated into the Spondee Review, a single copy journal that he produced. Greatly admiring the writings of Gertrude Stein and the music of Erik Satie, he became fascinated by the possibilities of repetition. This led to the collection of works produced in the late 1960s, including the ...

Article

William Main

(b Keboemen, Indonesia, 1915; d Australia, Aug 1985).

New Zealand photographer and decorative artist of Dutch origin. He was educated in the Netherlands and in New Zealand, where he attended the Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch, in 1939. Shortly after this he gradually withdrew from Western cultural influences and began to draw upon Asian and Polynesian influences for his artistic inspiration. While attempting to trace early examples of Maori art he studied cave drawings in remote parts of New Zealand, and also photographed geothermal formations in the centre of North Island. Influenced by the Maori artist Pine Taiapa, he revived an almost forgotten Maori art form by decorating gourds with intricate moko designs. Finally, he took up the carving of jade ornaments, and his success in this work led to the publication of his book Jade Country (1973). Dissatisfied with the way his work was received, he left New Zealand to live in Indonesia and Australia....