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Helen Ennis

(b Berlin, Sept 18, 1913; d Melbourne, Aug 7, 2007).

Australian photographer of German birth. His father, Dr Johannes Sievers, was an architectural historian. Sievers trained at the Contempora private art academy in Berlin in 1933. Due to his leftwing sympathies and Jewish descent, Sievers left Germany in 1934 and lived and worked in Portugal. He returned to Berlin in 1936 where he began teaching at the Contempora academy. Sievers developed his interest in architectural photography through his father, who was an expert on the German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and through contact with influential modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn. Sievers applied to migrate to Australia in 1938—one of his sponsors was photographer Axel Poignant (1906–86), then living in Western Australia—but after being called up to the Luftwaffe he fled to England in 1938. He arrived in Australia in August that year and settled in Melbourne. He married Finnish émigré Brita Klarich in 1939 (divorced in 1972), and had two children, Karin (...

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Patrick Hutchings

( Helen )

(b Northam, W. Australia, 1939).

Australian painter, printmaker and photographer . She studied under William Boissevain (b 1927) from 1963–4 and under Henry Froudist (d 1969) from 1965–8, as well as at Claremont Technical College, producing paintings, prints and photographs, sometimes working across these media. Her photographs vary from modified images, such as Masks (1985; artist’s col.), to photographs of witty, well-contrived set-ups, for example, Weight Watchers Series (1983; Canberra, N.G. and Melbourne, Kodak Col.), which depicts views of feet and bathroom scales, mainly in landscapes, with surreal objects on the dial), to the poignant, such as Stations of the Cross (1985; Perth, A.G. W. Australia), which depicts a barbed-wire crown of thorns photographed flat on sand. The print series, Apollo Journal of the Arts (1976; Canberra, N.G.) exploits deliberate anachronisms in art reference, as also, in some cases, does the WWS.

Stannage’s paintings vary in style from elegant abstracts drawn from her extensive travels in the Western Australian bush, for example ...

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(b Christchurch, July 3, 1947).

New Zealand photographer. He studied at the Ilam School of Art in Christchurch (1968–71) and from 1972 to 1975 at the Royal College of Art in London, where he settled. Though trained as a sculptor, he chose to work with photography, concentrating at first on realistic scenes with curious details and odd juxtapositions of objects. He developed his mature style in the 1980s, creating purely theatrical and artificial images from constructed sets and actors, without resorting to trick photographic techniques. Works such as ...

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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....

Article

Blair French

(b Sydney, May 14, 1957).

Australian photographer. Zahalka was awarded an MFA in 1994 and was recipient of the 2005 Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Award at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA. Since the 1980s her work has explored various forms of photographic portraiture, photomontage as well as manifesting a constant interest in the representation of place and its importance in the formation of individual and cultural identity. Zahalka has frequently referred to well-known historical photographs and representations in order to both draw on and question the cultural, gendered or institutional basis of their authority. Her work conveys an acute self-awareness of its own historical precedents. However it equally draws upon photography’s traditional association with visual veracity, exemplifying the complexity of photography as both aesthetic construction and medium of record.

The daughter of Czech and Austrian refugees, Zahalka’s early series, such as The Tourist as Theorist: (Theory Takes a Holiday) (1985), ...