Posts Tagged ‘Charles Meere

20
Jan
23

Text: ‘Golden splendour: privilege, ceremony and racism in 1920s-1930s Australia’ on the photo album ‘John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell (1892-1960), 1922-1933’ Part 2

January 2023

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that this posting contains images and names of people who may have since passed away.

 

 

W Lister Lister (27 Dec 1859 - 06 Nov 1943) 'The golden splendour of the bush' c. 1906

 

W Lister Lister (27 Dec 1859 – 06 Nov 1943)
The golden splendour of the bush
c. 1906
Oil on canvas
Frame: 294 x 245.0 x 13.5cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

Abstract

Discovered in an op shop (charity shop in America), this is the most historically important and exciting Australian photo album that I have ever found.

Belonging to John “Jack” Riverston Faviell, a senior New South Wales public accountant and featuring his photographs, the album ranges across the spectrum of Australian life and culture from the East to the West of the continent in the years 1922-1933. A list of locations and topics can be seen below. I have added additional research text, posters and photographs to help illuminate some of the issues under consideration.

Given its importance in documenting through photographs regional NSW, Indigenous Australians and the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the album is now in the State Library of New South Wales collection.

 

Keywords

Australian culture, Australian identity, Australian colonialism, Indigenous Australians, photography, photo album, Australian photography, Australian vernacular photography, racism, Australian racism, racism in Australia, White Australia, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Trans-Australian Railway, State Library of New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia, rural New South Wales, country races, Kalgoorlie Boulder, pearling, gold mining, Year of Mourning, Invasion Day, National Day of mourning, First Nations of Australia, reconciliation, pastoralism

 

 

Golden splendour: privilege, ceremony and racism in 1920s-1930s Australia

This text investigates the photographs found in an important Australian album discovered in an op shop (charity shop in America) belonging to John “Jack” Riverston Faviell (see part one of the posting), a senior New South Wales public accountant who associated with important pastoralists and bankers of the time, invested in business, travelled across the continent, went to many functions, married Sydney socialite Melanie Audrey Pickburn in February 1925 (divorced October 1930) and built a house on prestigious Darling Point overlooking Sydney Harbour.

The album features Faviell’s photographs and was probably compiled by him, the photographs ranging across the spectrum of Australian life and culture from the East to the West of the continent in the years 1922-1933. A list of locations and topics can be seen below. The album has been assembled in near chronological order although some later dates precede earlier ones (for example, “Frensham Pastoral Play” of 8th December 1923 precedes “La Perouse” 7 November 1923; “Trip to Canberra” 5/6 Nov 1927 precedes “Jenolan Caves Trip” 10/12th July, 1927; and some images from 1927 sit side by side with photographs from October and November 1932). There are no dates for Faviell’s trip to Western Australia (presumably in early 1924) and the dating starts again with a polo competition for “The Dudley Cup” in 1924 after this trip.

Taken in Scotland and sent by a man named Robert Reid from that country there is only one overseas photograph in the album. The photograph, which was presumably taken on Faviell’s honeymoon, is titled “Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat) 1925”, and is inserted unceremoniously into photographs dating from 1927. There is no other reference to his marriage or photographs of it or his honeymoon in the album. The handwriting and grid-like layout of the photographs are consistent from front to back, and the photographs are mostly of the same size and shape (meaning he used the same camera throughout the period), other than photographs that Faviell did not take (including the “honeymoon” photograph from Scotland and the photographs of Jenolan Caves taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley).

Thinking of the order that the photographs have been inserted into the album means to my mind that it was consciously assembled by Faviell probably after the date of the last photograph in the album which is November 1933 – although it is possible that he assembled it as he went along, inserting the “honeymoon” photograph from 1925 into the 1927 pages, and some earlier 1927 photographs next to the ones from 1932. But it just doesn’t feel like the latter to me… everything is too ordered to be done as he went along.

One important element of the album are John Faviell’s photographs which document his life in rural New South Wales as he attends various country race meetings, schools, historic houses, pastoral farms, regatta, and business ventures in the state during the 1920s. A second important element is the documentation of “Aboriginal Types” along the Trans-Australian Railway, gold mining in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and pearling and Aboriginals in Shark Bay, the latter two in Western Australia. Finally, important unpublished photographs of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 give insight into the pageantry and colonialism of white Australia.

 

Privilege

A feeling of privilege – defined as a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group – pervades the photographs in the album. Faviell belonged to a particular social category which had an inherently privileged and advantageous position.

This is evidenced by his friendship with wealthy New South Wales graziers such as O.E. Friend (d. 1942) who was President of the Royal Historical Society and Director of the Commercial Banking Co., and who had a keen interest in pastoral pursuits and business investments; by photographs of large houses and pastoral stations such as “Weroona”, Belmont (demolished 1979), “Doona”, Breeza and “Foxlow”, Bungendore near Canberra which consisted of 7,500 hectares of land; by photographs of country horse races, friends who owned race horses and polo matches; by photographs of new cars; by photographs of his own investment projects such as the Doona Cyprus Pine Venture; by photographs of his travel to Western Australia and five-day cruise on the Cutter “Shark”; by photographs of “Old Boys” from Camden Grammar School, a term redolent of the English public school system; by building a house on one of the most exclusive promontories overlooking Sydney Harbour; by getting married in one of the “biggest social events of the month in Sydney”; and so it goes… the (British) class system alive and well in 1920s Australia, still an extension of the Empire.

What we should remember is that, after the end of the First World War the “1920s saw a higher level of material prosperity for non-Indigenous people than ever before.” Despite the rising affluence of the 1920s the Australian unemployment rate floated between 6% and 11% throughout the decade. Then, in October 1929, the world experienced a stock market crash on Wall Street in New York that plunged the world into the Great Depression (1929-1934). By 1932, one third of all Australians were out of work.

“Australia suffered badly during the period of the Great Depression of the 1930s… As in other nations, Australia suffered years of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement. Unemployment reached a record high of around 30% in 1932, and gross domestic product declined by 10% between 1929 and 1931… Many hundreds of thousands of Australians suddenly faced the humiliation of poverty and unemployment. This was still the era of traditional social family structure, where the man was expected to be the sole bread winner. Soup kitchens and charity groups made brave attempts to feed the many starving and destitute. The male suicide rate spiked in 1930 and it became clear that Australia had limits to the resources for dealing with the crisis. The depression’s sudden and widespread unemployment hit the soldiers who had just returned from war the hardest as they were in their mid-thirties and still suffering the trauma of their wartime experiences. At night many slept covered in newspapers at Sydney’s Domain or at Salvation Army refugees.”1

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Due to his wealth, his privileged family life and position in society, Faviell obviously felt none of the effects of the Great Depression. Although there are no photographs in the album taken between 1928 and 1931, by November 1932 he was buying a new Chrysler 70 motorcar. You can’t do that without money.

 

Ceremony

Faviell attended the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the 20th March 1932 sitting in the official stands, taking what are up until now previously unknown photographs of the Federal and State Governors arriving and the pageantry of the official opening (see photographs below). The ceremony featured a passing parade of groups, floats and attractions including Naval Guard, Mounted Police, Cobb & Co. Coach, Old King Street Bus, an early Hupmobile car, the first Auto-Gyro, Wool Float, surf girls, Pioneers Float and Aborigines. Also present in the parade at the Bridge’s opening ceremony was a contingent from the Aboriginal community of La Perouse on Sydney’s Botany Bay. According to the series Australia in Colour, “The first Australians are a token inclusion in the celebrations. They are not classed as citizens in their own country and have no voting or legal rights…”2 State and federal governments still saw Indigenous Australians as, “the native problem.” “For most city people, the only contact with Indigenous groups was watching tent boxing at the travelling shows which used to flourish in the ’30s.”3 But things were beginning to change. Indigenous Australians were slowly being politicised in order to get their message across, with pleas for better rights, conditions and representation.

Five years later, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of European settlement in Australia in 1938 there was a re-enactment of Governor Phillip’s landing in which Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove (see photograph below). A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion. Elsewhere on that day in 1938 – Wednesday, 26th January – there took place the first Day of Mourning and Protest at the Australian Hall, Sydney. The protest, calling for full citizen status and equality, was led by William Cooper, Pearl Gibbs, Jack Patten and William Ferguson (see photographs and poster below). Cooper and his fellow Aboriginal men Jack Patten and William Ferguson organised a conference to grieve the collective loss of freedom and self-determination of Aboriginal communities as well as those killed during and after European settlement in 1788. “The first Day of Mourning was a culmination of years of work by the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) and the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA). It would became the inspiration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.”4

“In 1938, William Cooper had thrown down a challenge. It was 150 years since the landing of the ragtag British ‘first fleet’ in Sydney Cove on 26 January in 1788. As white Australians were preparing to celebrate, Cooper had branded that landing as the beginning of 150 years of invasion, dispossession and exploitation. Cooper dared white Australia to recognise that their ‘Australia Day’ was no celebration but instead a ‘Day of Mourning’ for invaded Australia. …

A forced reenactment. For the 150th Anniversary, Aboriginal people were forced to participate in a reenactment of the landing of the First Fleet under Captain Arthur Phillip. Aboriginal people living in Sydney had refused to take part so organisers brought in men from Menindee, in western NSW, and kept them locked up at the Redfern Police Barracks stables until the re-enactment took place. On the day itself, they were made to run up the beach away from the British – an inaccurate version of events. It was Cook who was first “threatened and warned off by the Indigenous people on the shore” and he then decided to fire gun shots.”5

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Anita Heiss observes of that day in 1938, “The day also saw an appalling contrast. Aboriginal organisations in Sydney refused to participate in the government’s re-enactment of the events of January 1788. In response, the government transported groups of Aboriginal people from western communities in NSW to Sydney to partake in the re-enactments. The visitors were locked up at the Redfern Police Barracks stables and members of the Aborigines Progressive Association were denied access to them. After the re-enactment of the First Fleet landing at Farm Cove (Wuganmagulya), the visiting group of Aboriginal people were featured on a float parading along Macquarie Street.”6

Finally, by 1988, the re-enactments were discontinued. 50 years later to the day, on the occasion of the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 (the same year named a Year of Mourning by and for the Australian Aboriginal people), the protests against British invasion were even more prominent and vigorous, as Aboriginal people and their supporters rallied in Sydney and around the country. “On 26 January that year, up to 40,000 Aboriginal people (including some from as far away as Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory) and their supporters marched from Redfern Park to a public rally at Hyde Park and then on to Sydney Harbour to mark the 200th anniversary of invasion.”7

“On 26 January 1988, more than 40,000 people, including Aborigines from across the country and non-Indigenous supporters, staged what was the largest march in Sydney since the Vietnam moratorium. …

The march was seen as a challenge to the dominant society’s hegemonic construction of Australia day and what it represented. It was a statement of survival, demonstrating that although Australian history had excluded the indigenous voice, Aborigines as the original inhabitants of this place were not going to continue to be beggars in their own country. The march served to draw both national and international attention to Australia’s appalling human rights record. It aimed to educate the public about the poor conditions of Aboriginal health, education and welfare, of the high imprisonment rates and the number of deaths in custody suffered by Indigenous Australians. Activists such as Gary Foley called on Australians to join the Aboriginal protests and to make the point to the rest of Australia that the whole concept of the Bicentennial is based on hypocrisy and lies. …

There had been little emphasis on the need to address indigenous aspirations as a precondition to celebrating the bicentenary. The protest march was both an affirmation of indigenous Australians’ survival and a stark reminder of the falsity on which the celebration was premised. Celebrations focused on the discovery of Australia with a re-enactment of the arrival of the first fleet. However, the Aboriginal protest was a reminder that Australia had been inhabited at least 40,000 years before European arrival.”8

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As the editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on January 19, 1988 noted, “scarcely a day of the Bicentenary has passed when issues involving Aborigines and their “Year of Mourning” protests have not featured prominently…” which “instigated public debate concerning white and indigenous Australian history, the position of Aborigines in contemporary society and the possibilities of land rights and reconciliation in the future.”9 But despite these protests many Australians, myself included – newly arrived from England and still homesick for the mother country, failing to grasp the enormity of the betrayal – did not understand the protests. “Despite Indigenous people declaring January 26 a National Day of mourning fifty years prior in 1938, many of the non-Indigenous majority still failed to see any disrespect in celebrating an occasion made possible by the murder, massacre, dispossession, slavery and attempted genocide of the Indigenous people of this land.”10

While I could never understand, as an English man, Australia’s treatment of their First Peoples when I first arrived, at the time I had not educated myself or immersed myself in the history of Australia to gain its full import. Now I have. And so have other people.

Importantly, national events happened in the 1990s that led up to the Walk for Reconciliation across Sydney Harbour Bridge on 28 May, 2000 (see photograph below) in which about 250,000 people walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to show their support for reconciliation between Australia’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples: in 1991 the Australian Parliament passed an Act which created the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation; in the 1992 Mabo decision the High Court of Australia ruled that Australia was not terra nullius (land belonging to nobody) when it was claimed by Britain in 1770. This led to the Native Title Act 1993, which made it possible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to claim ownership of their traditional lands; and the Bringing Them Home report, published in 1997, showed that thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait children had been taken away from their families by governments around Australia. These children have become known as the Stolen Generations. The report said that all Australian governments should apologise to Indigenous people, especially the Stolen Generations.11 So many people participated in the walk that the event took nearly six hours. It was the largest political demonstration ever held in Australia. Finally, eight years after the walk Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a national apology to Australia’s Indigenous people. “On 13 February 2008, the Parliament of Australia issued a formal apology to Indigenous Australians for forced removals of Australian Indigenous children (often referred to as the Stolen Generations) from their families by Australian federal and state government agencies.”12

Better late than never…

 

Racism

By the time John Faviell started taking photographs for his album a twentieth-century, Euro- and U.S.-centric middle class had been dazzled by the “Kodakification” of photography. Small portable cameras with roll film and a faster film speed enabled “amateur” photographers,13 people who “simply wanted pictures as mementos of their daily lives but were hardly interested in learning how to do the rest”14 – that is, developing, printing and toning their own photographs – to document their existence and then send the film away to be developed and printed. George Eastman’s slogan for Kodak, “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest,” revolutionised the photography business in the United States and in the world, allowing the great mass of the general public to take photographs and assemble family albums (for example). In these vernacular photographs – “those countless ordinary and utilitarian pictures made for souvenir postcards, government archives, police case files, pin-up posters, networking Web sites, and the pages of magazines, newspapers, or family albums”15 – the focus is on the social contexts in which the photos were originally made and how they document an aspect of social or photo history. These images, including those by John Faviell, ask us to consider “the ways in which photographs function as significant bearers of complex meaning, rather than mere descriptions or reflections of the world, whether they grace the walls of a museum, the pages of a magazine, the files in a cabinet, or a living room mantel.”16 Commenting on photo postcards but equally applicable to vernacular photographs, Leonard A. Lauder observes that, “The new flexibility and mobility of this medium created citizen photographers who captured life on the ground around them… [and] we learn from them both the grand historical narrative and the smaller events that made up the daily lives of those who participated in that history.”17

Even as the freedom to photograph anywhere, anytime led to the ability of humans with access to a camera and the money to develop and pay for film and prints to document their lives – an intimate portrait of a life in the making, constructed by people for themselves – it also, paradoxically, led to the Kodification, codification, of everyday life… into the haves and the have nots, into people who were portrayed existing at the upper echelons of society, to those that existed as policemen, factory workers, or working on construction sites (for example), or those that existed at the margins of society, the disenfranchised, abused and neglected “other”, subject to the gaze of the photographer and the mechanical observation of the camera.

Even as he welcomes his own ambition and sense of self worth there is a sense of conservatism and privilege in the depiction of his social position in Australian society. In his private photographic album, John Faviell places himself at the centre of the story, at the centre of history, as though he is constructing not only his own place in the history of Australia but the history of Australia itself. His photographs portray his life embedded within the “golden splendour” of the Australian landscape even as the photographs reinforce in private the cultural and photographic norms circulating in public in 1920s-1930s Australia,18 its heteropatriarchy, settler coloniality and the racism prevalent in early 20th century Australia. Through the many titled photographs Faviell projects the inherent racism towards Aboriginal people that was present at that time in white society, the notion of white superiority that was implicit in the White Australia Policy.19 In this regard he would not have seen himself as racist (I have no idea whether he was racist or not) for he was merely reflecting the social attitudes of the day, reflecting a collective racism that pervaded all aspects of white Australian society officially sanctioned through the White Australia Policy, an attitude which continues to haunt Australia’s past, present and future.

While now totally offensive Faviell would have thought nothing of captioning his photographs with titles such as Grave in Nigger’s Cemetery, Shark’s Bay, 1923; A Nor’ West Gin and Big Nig, Shark’s Bay, 1923; and Nellie and her litter, 1923, where after colonisation “gin” became a racist, derogatory term for an Aboriginal woman quickly used against female Aborigines to express a mix of lust and racial contempt, becoming a “dehumanising weapon essential to the violence of occupation,” which led to the systematic rape, abduction and murder of Aboriginal girls and women. He would have thought nothing of titling his photograph Nellie and her litter, the text loaded with casual racism which compares Indigenous Australians to dogs. But what is important to note here is how individuals make use of images in shaping their identities, and how Faviell’s images informed the construction of his own identity and the embodying of his own power.

Photographs tend to be indispensable in the construction of identity because of the phenomenal aspect of photography – its status as a spatio-temporal capture – where memory traces and their capture become a visible reality, and where contexts (point of view) and power can be replayed over and over again, made present in absence.20 Faviell’s album of photographs and the use of the art of memory (Latin: ars memoriae: a number of loosely associated mnemonic principles and techniques used to organise memory impressions) would have allowed him to organise his memory impressions and improve the recall of them. Faviell could have used a set of associative values given for images in memory texts (Nigger, gin) as a starting point to initiate a chain of recollection. “Techniques commonly employed in the art [of memory] include the association of emotionally striking memory images within visualized locations, the chaining or association of groups of images, the association of images with schematic graphics or notae (“signs, markings, figures” in Latin), and the association of text with images.”21

Here we must acknowledge that human beings, including Faviell, are not just actors in history, they are enablers. Enablers of racism whose slippery tentacles still enslave this country Australia down to its very roots – at the footy, on social media, in government, on the land – even today. As the artist Octora observes, “A photograph is not merely evidence of the past or a slice of a passing moment, it is performative and still performs to distort actual reality today.”22 But changing how photographs perform realities and memories is not easy, for there are other forces at play to which photographs only reinforce social prejudices: “There is a racism that lurks within the Australian consciousness and is fuelled by an uneasy conscience caused by our treatment of Aborigines in the past and out fear from the future.”23

What we must do is confront this fear and propose a narrative that moves beyond those reflected in our existing histories… for memory is not just a personal remembering (the product and property of individual minds) but a collective remembering, “concerned with remembering and forgetting as socially constituted activities… Individual memories cannot be understood as ‘internal mental processes’ which occur independently of the interpretive and communicative practices which characterise a particular society or culture. Individuals ‘read’, account for and negotiate their memories within the pragmatics of social life.”24 As would John Faviell have done.

We must remember that historical memories help form the social and political identities of groups of people and that in Australia there is a collective amnesia surrounding the White Australia policy, a social amnesia where there is a collective forgetting by a group, or nation, of people about the effects of a certain policy – because they are ignorant of it, because they don’t care, because they agree with the policy, or because they benefit from the policy – and they forget about it. Things remain the same, the status quo is maintained, and mythologies of a white nation remain impervious to change. There is also a collective remembering that this is the policy of the government, that it keeps the country homogenous, and wards of the invasion of non-desirables. People of colour and “others”.

So how can looking at historic photographs, such as those in John Faviell’s photographic album, affect change? According to Mika Elo,

“Photographs are nomadic and relational images. They are scalable and can be inscribed in many kinds of material supports, which means that they carry in themselves references to something beyond their own instantiations. Something similar applies to power. Power can be restrictive or productive, personalized or impersonal, but it is always relational. With regard to visual representation, power is neither entirely inherent to specific images nor entirely reducible to the context. Rather, we might consider it a parergonal [a subordinate activity or work: work undertaken in addition to one’s main employment] phenomenon. As we all know, power relations can effectively be built up and worked against with photographic images. This means that in each individual case the borders between information, propaganda and advertising are necessarily indistinct – even if the face offered by the photograph as an image is distinct. The distinctness of an image is always dissimilarity [its groundlessness of meaning in a ‘network’ of significations]. The way in which a photograph cuts itself off from everything else introduces a mute interval that fosters many kinds of speech, whether banal, creative, humiliating or empowering. In any case, the photographic cut necessarily introduces basic conditions for power relations: it introduces a point of view into relational structures. Its effects can be both imaginary and symbolic. Depending on the point of view, the cut can be transformative or conservative, emancipatory or suppressive, subversive or destructive.”25

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In this sense images, rather than being a representation of a palpable materiality at a particular point in time and with a particular interpretation, never cease to present their multiple aspects open to reinterpretation. Collectively and individually photographs can seize us, can hold us in their thrall. But we are not passive observers that approach the present which is absent, a particular floating “reality” that is embedded in a photograph, but an active participant in the encounter with performance and gesture… in the eyes of the observer. As Žarko Paić notes of the observer, “His role has changed significantly. It is no longer a Kantian passive subject to the reflection of a beautiful, nor a Nietzschean active producer who disturbs indifferent senses. The observer does not look at what’s happening in a picture like an idle screen. Violence caused by the rise of the chaotic reality of the twentieth century, wars and revolutions, by the technical acceleration of the cinematic energy of one’s life, becomes the “energy” and “intensity” of the image. The image is always an image of something. It is therefore mimetic in its aspiration to turn life into the objectivity of reality. However, the representation of something does not mean that it is only an empty intentional act of observing objects.”26 As Mika Elo states, “… power is necessarily inscribed in technologies, practices and discourses of photography in many ways. Photographic powers have their past, presence and future. They have their visible and invisible forms.”27

And so this is what we can collectively and individually undertake. We can look at John Faviell’s private photographs and confront the racist societal violence28 against Aboriginal people depicted through image and text, and we can disrupt their historicity, in public, in the here and now. We can acknowledge past determinations of these photographs and delimit that determination and identification in a network of significations… so that we celebrate the life of the disenfranchised because they are not to be seen as such. These are human beings living their life and are as equally as valuable as anybody else, and we can acknowledge this because we approach the photograph to embrace the … the “energy” and “intensity” of the image. And the “presence” and spirit of the people not as subject but as the thing itself.29

The observer actively engages with the photograph to bring these human beings to life in their imagination,30 to inhabit a reality that can in the present be changed. Every look performs this operation because only through this recon/figuration, this transformation, this metamorphosis, can we assess the past with fresh eyes and not be complicit in the racism and socially constituted activities of the past which still affect us today. Only by bringing the visible and invisible forms of racism into the open in the present can we open up new possibilities for the future.

As the photographer Frederick Sommer sagely opines,

The world is a reality,
not because of the way it is,
but because
of the possibilities it presents.

 

Dr Marcus Bunyan
January 2023

Word count: 4,671

See Part 1 of the posting

 

 

Footnotes

1/ “Great Depression in Australia,” on the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 30/08/2021

2/ Lisa Matthews (director). “Shifting Allegiances,” from Australia in Colour Season One, Episode Two. TV Mini Series. Strange Than Fiction Films, 2019

3/ Ibid.,

4/ Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

5/ Isabella Higgins and Sarah Collard. “Captain James Cook’s landing and the Indigenous first words contested by Aboriginal leaders,” on the ABC News website Wed 29 Apr 2020 quoted in Jens Korff. “Australia Day – Invasion Day,” on the Creative Spirits website 26 July 2021 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

6/ Anita Heiss. “Significant Aboriginal Events in Sydney,” on the Barani website Nd [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

7/ Ibid.,

8/ Pose, Melanie. “Indigenous Protest, Australian Bicentenary, 1988,” on the Museums Victoria Collections website 2009 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

9/ Ibid.,

10/ Natalie Cromb. “Analysis: The ’88 protests,” on the SBS NTIV website 29 January, 2018 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022. No longer available online

11/ Anonymous. “Walk for reconciliation,” on the National Museum of Australia website 12 May 2021 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

12/ “Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples,” on the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

13/ “Vernacular photography is also to be distinguished from amateur photography. While vernacular photography is generally situated outside received art categories (though where the lines are drawn may vary), “amateur photography” contrasts with “professional photography”: “[A]mateur [photography] simply means that you make your living doing something else”.”
Langford, Michael and Bilissi, Efthimia. Langford’s Advanced Photography. Oxford, UK and Burlington, MA: Focal Press. 2011, p. 1 quoted in Anonymous. “Vernacular photography,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

14/ Anonymous. “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

15/ Anonymous. “In the Vernacular,” on the Art Institute of Chicago website, 2010 [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

16/ Ibid.,

17/ Leonard A. Lauder quoted in the press release for Real Photo Postcards: Pictures from a Changing Nation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 17th March – 25th July, 2022 Nd [Online] Cited 06/05/2022

18/ Kris Belden-Adams. “CFP – ‘These Are Our Stories’: Global Expressions of “Other” Histories, Narratives, and Identities in Photographic Albums,” on the Humanities and Social Science Online website January 23, 2020 [Online] Cited 03/05/2022

19/ See Anonymous. “White Australia Policy,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022; Anonymous. “White Australia Policy,” on the National Museum of Australia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022; and Anonymous. “The Immigration Restriction Act 1901,” on the National Archives of Australia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

20/ Mika Elo. “Introduction: Photography Research Exposed to the Parergonal Phenomenon of “Photographic Powers”,” in Elo, Mika and Karo, Marko (eds.,). Photographic Powers – Helsinki Photomedia 2014. Aalto University publication series, 2015, pp. 7-8.

21/ Anonymous. “Art of Memory,” on the Wikipedia website Nd [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

22/ The artist Octora quoted in James McArdle. “16 July: Writing,” on the On This Date In Photography website 16/07/2021 [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

23/ The Right Reverend George Hearn quoted in “Birthday hype ‘blurs’ history,” in The Canberra Times Sun 1 May 1988 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 22/07/2021.

24/ David Middleton and Derek Edwards (eds.,). Collective Remembering. Sage Publications, 1990

25/ Mika Elo, Op cit., pp. 7-8

26/ Žarko Paić. “The Dark Core Of Mimesis: Art, Body And Image In The Thought Of Jean-Luc Nancy,” on the TVRDA website August 20, 2022 [Online] Cited 25/12/2022

27/ Mika Elo, Op cit., pp. 7-8

28/ “Racist violence is exemplary. It is the violence that knocks someone in the face, simply because – as the stupid twat might say – it “doesn’t like the look” on his face. The face is denied truth. The truth meanwhile lies in a figure that deduces itself to the blow that it strikes. Here, truth is true because it is violent, and it is true in its violence: it is a destructive truth in the sense in which destruction verifies and makes true.”
Jean-Luc Nancy. The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort. Fordham University Press, 2005, p. 17.

29/ Ibid., p. 21.

30/ “The image not only exceeds the form, the aspect, the calm surface of representation, but in order to do so item just draw upon a ground – or a groundlessness – of excessive power. The image must be imagined; that is to say, it must extract from its absence the unity of force that the thing merely at hand does not present. Imagination is not the faculty of representing something in its absence; it is the force that draws the form of presentation out of absence: that is to say, the force of “self-presenting.””
Jean-Luc Nancy. The Ground of the Image. Translated by Jeff Fort. Fordham University Press, 2005, p. 21.

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Many thankx to the State Library of New South Wales for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Grateful thankx to Douglas Stewart Fine Books for their research help with this photo album. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Shark’s Bay,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Locations

  • Blue Mountains, NSW (1922)
  • Leura Falls, NSW (1922)
  • Weeping Rock, Wentworth Falls, NSW (1922)
  • Tarana Picnic Races, NSW (1922)
  • Doona, Breeza, NSW (1922)
  • Avoca, NSW (1922)
  • Newcastle Races, NSW (1923)
  • Belmont / Belmont Regatta, NSW (1923)
  • Hawkesbury, NSW (1923)
  • Frenches Forest, NSW (1923)
  • “Foxlow” Station, Bungedore, NSW (1923)
  • Sydney, NSW (Customs House, National Art Gallery, Mitchell Library, Darlinghurst Courthouse) (1923)
  • Muswellbrook Picnic Races, NSW (1923)
  • Maitland / Maitland Cup Meeting, NSW (1923)
  • Breeza, NSW (1923)
  • Wiseman’s Ferry, NSW (1923)
  • Moss Vale / Sutton Forest Church, NSW (1923)
  • Frensham, NSW (1923)
  • La Perouse, NSW (Historical Society Excursion) (1923)
  • Old Customs Watch Tower, La Perouse (1923)
  • The Old Illawarra Road, NSW (1923)
  • Yarcowie, SA (1923)
  • Trans-Australian Railway (Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie) (1923)
  • Karonie, WA (1923)
  • Kalgoorlie, WA (1923)
  • Boulder City, WA (1923)
  • Fremantle, WA (1923)
  • Geraldton, WA (1923)
  • Shark’s Bay, WA (1923)
  • Henry Freycinet Estuary, WA (1923)
  • Tamala Station, WA (1923)
  • Perth, WA (1923)
  • Adelaide, SA (Torrens River) (1923)
  • “Redbank,” Scone, NSW (1924)
  • Muswellbrook Picnic Races, NSW (1924)
  • “Craigieburn,” Bowral, NSW (1924)
  • The Dudley Cup at Kensington, NSW (1924)
  • Camden Grammar School, NSW (1924)
  • Liverpool Church, NSW (1924)
  • Landsdowne Bridge, NSW (1924)
  • Jenolan Caves, NSW (1924)
  • Avon Dam, NSW (1924)
  • Herald Office, Pitt Street, NSW (1924)
  • Camping, Cronulla, NSW (1925)
  • Roseville, NSW (1926)
  • Whale Beach, NSW (1927)
  • Visit of the Duke and Duchess of York, Macquarie Street, NSW (1927)
  • 20, Yarranabbe Rd., Darling Point, NSW (1926)
  • Canberra, ACT (1927)
  • Jenolan Caves, NSW (Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley) (1927)
  • Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (1925)
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge, NSW (1931-32)
  • “Springfield,” Byng, Near Orange, NSW (1932)
  • Lucknow, near Orange, NSW (1933)
  • Hawkesbury, NSW (1933)
  • Bathurst, NSW (1933)
  • “Millambri, ” Canowindra, NSW (1933)
  • Melbourne, VIC (1933)

 

Topics

  • Men
  • Pastoralism and grazing
  • Horses / country horse racing
  • Sheep and shearing
  • Cows
  • Mill / logging
  • Pine plantation
  • Bush
  • Bores and dams
  • Cathedral / churches
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Cars (Ford, Pan-American, Essex, Oldsmobile, early Hupmobile, Chrysler 70)
  • Buses
  • Bank, post office
  • Pastoral Play
  • Monuments
  • Rock carvings
  • Houses
  • Cemetery / tombstones
  • John Dunn, executed 1866
  • South Australian Railways / locomotives
  • S.A. constable and Adelaide cop
  • Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal types, along the Trans-Australian Railway)
  • Australian Desert Blacks
  • Gold mine / gold panning
  • Mining (Boulder and Perseverance Mines)
  • Convict gaol
  • Oldest inhabitant (Henry Desmond)
  • Hotels
  • Beach and sea, surf girls
  • Mother of pearl
  • Dates
  • Afghan / camels
  • Yachting, sailing / boats
  • Guano
  • Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler
  • Stations and station hands
  • Rowing
  • Dredging
  • Polo
  • Rugby
  • Caves
  • Guns
  • Nobility and royalty
  • Camping, picnics
  • Tennis
  • House building / old houses
  • Parliament House
  • Prime Ministers residence
  • Bridges and bridge building
  • Federal and state governors
  • The world’s first auto-gyro plane (1909-1912)
  • The Southern Cross
  • Pioneers
  • Mounted police
  • First house in Byng
  • Rabbiting
  • Glamour
  • Social status / socialite
  • Family
  • Women and children
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge opening
  • Carillon (bells)
  • Myers and Bourke Street, Melbourne

 

 

"An Afghan's turnout," 1923 John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“An Afghan’s turnout,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Shark's Bay, Lloyd's Camels (Bred on Dirk Hartog Island)," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Shark’s Bay, Lloyd’s Camels (Bred on Dirk Hartog Island),” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"A five-days cruise on the Cutter "Shark"," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“A five-days cruise on the Cutter “Shark”,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Amongst the Islands of Henri Freycinet Estuary," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Amongst the Islands of Henri Freycinet Estuary,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Henri Freycinet Harbour, also known as Freycinet Estuary, is one of the inner gulfs of Shark Bay, Western Australia, a World Heritage Site that lies to the west of the Peron Peninsula. It has a significantly larger number of islands than Hamelin Pool, and has a number of smaller peninsulas known as “prongs” on its northern area. It has also been identified as a critical dugong habitat area. It is situated within the Shark Bay Marine Park.

 

"Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler, Shark's Bay, W.A.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Fred Adams, Boss-Pearler, Shark’s Bay, W.A.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Pearling in Western Australia was an important part of the European colonisation of the North West. Although it was never considered a permanent part of the state economy, pearling, with its immediate returns, allowed pastoralists to establish stations and contributed to the foundation of several towns. Some of these towns evolved into centres for agriculture and tourism and some developed their port facilities. Others did not outlive the availability of and market for pearlshell. Uniquely, Shark Bay not only survived the demise of the industry, but developed into the state’s commercial fishing centre. The pearling boats were simply refitted to become fishing boats (OH 2266/8) and the Bay life continued…

Wilyah Miah. An Archaeological Study of the History of the Shark Bay Pearling Industry 1850-1930. University of Western Australia, 1999, p. 7.

 

""Natty" Black & Adams," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“”Natty” Black & Adams,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sharks Bay," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sharks Bay,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"J.F." 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“J.F.” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Boss-pearler Henfrey, and his "missus", opening shell," 1923in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Boss-pearler Henfrey, and his “missus”, opening shell,” 1923in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

The first labour employed in the industry was that of the local Aboriginal people. Little is known of the pre-European Aboriginal people of the Bay. It is not clear whether it was the territory of the Nanda or the Mulgana people (Bowdler 1992:5) although current consensus among the people of Shark Bay is that they are Mulgana (Bowdler pers. comm. 1999). They were easily accessible and there were no expectations that they should be paid the wages of other labourers. Willingness on the part of the Aboriginal people to participate in the industry was often an issue irrelevant to the interests of the pearlers. Goods such as alcohol may have been an inducement, but, according to Anderson (1978) in her study of the North West industry, coercion was necessary and practices such as blackbirding were employed to acquire labour. The introduction of pastoralism, by its appropriation of land, ensured the destruction of the traditional Aboriginal economy and forced them to provide for the market the only commodity available to them, their labour (Hartwig 1975:32).

Wilyah Miah. An Archaeological Study of the History of the Shark Bay Pearling Industry 1850-1930. University of Western Australia, 1999, p. 18.

 

"Tamala Station, Shark's Bay, W.A.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Tamala Station, Shark’s Bay, W.A.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

This pastoral station is in the southern part of Shark Bay World Heritage Area on limestone-dominated landscapes. The main attraction of Tamala Station is the low lying coastline and waters of Henri Freycinet Harbour. Many visitors only cross this property on their way to Steep Point but some spend time here camping, fishing and exploring the prongs and peninsulas. Tamala Station allows access to the general public but you must first contact the station managers for bookings.

Text from the Shark Bay World Heritage website

 

"Tamala Station Hands," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Tamala Station Hands,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Well Ziffed Stockman," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Well Ziffed Stockman,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Ziff, Australian for beard. The Oxford English Dictionary says this slang term originated around 1919, but otherwise the origin is unknown. To be ziffed means to be bearded.

 

"Untitled," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Nellie and her litter," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Nellie and her litter,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Western Australia," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Western Australia,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Perth," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Perth,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Returning from the West," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Returning from the West,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Redbank", Scone, N.S.W.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Redbank”, Scone, N.S.W.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

W.T. Badgery, horsebreeder, at Scone, Hunter Valley (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

Scone /ˈskoʊn/ is a town in the Upper Hunter Shire in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is on the New England Highway north of Muswellbrook about 270 kilometres north of Sydney, and is part of the New England (federal) and New England (state) electorates. Scone is in a farming area and is also noted for breeding Thoroughbred racehorses. It is known as the ‘Horse capital of Australia’.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Muswellbrook Picnic Races," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Muswellbrook Picnic Races,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Polo, Scone v Muswellbrook," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Polo, Scone v Muswellbrook,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Craigieburn", Bowral, N.S.W.," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Craigieburn”, Bowral, N.S.W.,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Craigieburn, Bowral is a house of historical significance as it was built in about 1885. It was originally the mountain retreat for a wealthy Sydney merchant and was owned by him for over twenty years. It was then the home of several other prominent people until about 1918 when it was converted into a hotel. Today it still provides hotel accommodation and is a venue for special events particularly weddings and conferences.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Bryden Brown and Jack Whitehouse," 1923 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bryden Brown and Jack Whitehouse,” 1923 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"The Dudley Cup at Kensington," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“The Dudley Cup at Kensington,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"C.G.S Football, School v Old Boys," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“C.G.S Football, School v Old Boys,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Camden Grammar School

“At the close of the last century the school was moved to the present situation at Studley Park, Narellan, formerly the residence of A. Payne Esq., a magnificent residence standing on the brow of a hill over looking the Nepean Valley and surrounded by 200 acres of rich country.” (Trove) The school was at Studley Park House 1902-1933.

 

"Half-time," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Half-time,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Trip to Jenolan Caves," October, 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Jenolan Caves,” October, 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Audrey Pickburn

Audrey Pickburn was a Sydney socialite. Her mother who was obviously playing chaperone on this trip to Jenolan Caves (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books) (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

Audrey Pickburn and John Faviell were married on Tuesday 24 February 1925.

 

AT ST. JAMES’

LAST NIGHT’S WEDDING

FAVIELL – PICKBURN

ST. JAMES Church, Kings Street was crowded last night for the wedding or Miss Audrey Pickburn, only child of the late Judge Pickburn, and Mrs. Pickburn of Springfield, Darllnghurst and Mr John Favlell, of “Collinroobie”. The church was decorated by girl friends of the bride and the ceremony was performed by Rev. T. L—-.

A lovely bridal gown of gleaming white was hand embroidered with pearls and diamente, and made with a long train, which was encrusted with pearls and lined with shell pink georgette. Silver thread embroideries also appeared on the train, which was finished with true-lovers knots. A plain tulle veil, held with a coronet of orange blossom, and a bouquet of orchids completed the ensemble.

Miss Gretel Bullmore was chief bridesmaid wearing a gown of golden lame, flared at the hem. Miss Eileen Wiley and Miss Joyce Russell were also In attendance. Their frocks of lame were made —– effect. All three wore golden crin. hats, trimmed with —- and floating blue scarves, with gold thread embroideries, and they carried bouquets of orchids.

Mr. Claude Pain was in attendance as best man. Mr. Guy Little and Mr Keith Hardie acted as groomsmen. The reception was held at the Queen’s Club where the bride & mother received a big number of guests.

The Labor Daily, Tuesday, 24 February 1925, Page 7 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

(The Queen’s Club, 137 Elizabeth Street, Sydney established in 1912, is a private Club. The Club was founded for social purposes for country and city women.)

 

PICKBURN – FAVIELL

The biggest social event of the month was the wedding on Tuesday night of Miss Mclanie Audrey Pickburn, only daughter of the late Judge Pickburn and Mrs. Pickburn, of ‘Springfield,’ Darlinghurst, to Mr. Jack “Riverstone” Faviell, of Sydney, son of the late Mr. A. Faviell, Colinroobie, Narandera, and Mrs. Faviell, Kiribilli, which was celebrated at St. James’s Church, King-street, Sydney, by the Rev. E. C. Lucas, of St. John’s, Darlinghurst. The church was beautifully decorated in white and gold.

Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser, Friday, 27 February 1925, Page 6 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

Jenolan Caves

The Jenolan Caves (Tharawal: Binoomea, Bindo, Binda) are limestone caves located within the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve in the Central Tablelands region, west of the Blue Mountains, in Jenolan, Oberon Council, New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The caves and 3,083-hectare (7,620-acre) reserve are situated approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) west of Sydney, 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Oberon and 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Katoomba.

The caves are the most visited of several similar groups in the limestone caves of the country, and the most ancient discovered open caves in the world.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Caves Service Car," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Caves Service Car,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"My Pan American," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“My Pan American,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Audrey Pickburn," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Audrey Pickburn,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Jenolan Caves," October, 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Jenolan Caves,” October, 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Audrey," 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Audrey,” 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Admiral Sir Dudley Rawson Stratford de Chair, KCB, KCMG, MVO (30 August 1864 – 17 August 1958) was a senior Royal Navy officer and later Governor of New South Wales. …

 

Governor of New South Wales

De Chair had been interested in serving in a viceregal role as early as 1922, when he put his name forward to the Colonial Office for the position of Governor of South Australia. This position however, went to Sir Tom Bridges instead and the First Lord of the Admiralty, Leo Amery, put de Chair’s name forward for the Governor of New South Wales. This position, which had been vacant since the death of Sir Walter Davidson in September 1923, was the same one his uncle, Sir Harry Rawson, had held twenty years earlier, and to which he was appointed on 8 November 1923.

Arriving in Sydney on 28 February 1924, de Chair became governor in relatively calm political times and was warmly received in the city with great fanfare. On de Chair’s appointment, the President of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Aubrey Halloran, compared Admiral de Chair to the first Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip: “Our new Governor’s reputation as an intrepid sailor and ruler of men evokes from us a hearty welcome and inspires us to place in him the same confidence that [Arthur] Phillip received from his gallant band of fellow-sailors and the English statesmen who sent him.”

The political makeup of the state changed not long after his arrival however, when the conservative Nationalist/Progressive coalition government of Sir George Fuller, whom de Chair had got on well with, was defeated at the May 1925 state election by the Labor Party under Jack Lang. De Chair noted to himself that Lang and his party’s position comprised “radical and far-reaching legislation, which had not been foreshadowed in their election speeches”. He also later wrote that Lang’s “lack of scruple gave me a great and unpleasant surprise”.

With the Labor Government only holding a single seat majority in the Legislative Assembly and only a handful of members in the upper Legislative Council, one of Lang’s main targets was electoral reform. The Legislative Council, comprising members appointed by the Governor for life terms, had long been seen by Lang and the Labor Party as an outdated bastion of conservative privilege holding back their reform agenda. Although previous Labor premiers had managed to work with the status quo, such as requesting appointments from the Governor sufficient to pass certain bills, Lang’s more radical political agenda required more drastic action to ensure its passage. Consequently, Lang and his government sought to abolish the council, along the same lines that their Queensland Labor colleagues had done in 1922 to their Legislative Council, by requesting from de Chair enough appointments to establish a Labor majority in the council that would then vote for abolition.

While Lang’s attempts ultimately failed, de Chair failed to gain the support of an indifferent Dominions Office. With Lang’s departure in 1927, the Nationalist Government of Thomas Bavin invited him in 1929 to stay on as Governor for a further term. De Chair agreed only to a year’s extension and retired on 8 April 1930.

Text from the Wikipedia website

 

"Old Herald Office - Pitt St.,' 1924 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old Herald Office – Pitt St.,’ 1924 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Aboard the Orvieto," September, 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Aboard the Orvieto,” September, 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Curtis (Captain Arthur Curtis)," 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Curtis (Captain Arthur Curtis),” 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Roseville," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Roseville,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Picnics - Whale Beach / Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Picnics – Whale Beach / Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"A house is nearly built - 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“A house is nearly built – 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

"Buying the land," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Buying the land,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Three harbour views taken from upstairs," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Three harbour views taken from upstairs,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Harbour view," 1926 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Harbour view,” 1926 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Audrey Pickburn and Jack Faviell divorced in October 1930. Audrey re-married in 1934 and so did Jack (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

 

IN DIVORCE

(Before Mr. Justice Pike)

FAVIELL v FAVIELL

Jack Riverstone Faviell sued for divorce from Melanie Audrey Faviell (formerly Pickburn) on the ground of non compliance with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights. The parties were married at Sydney in February, 1925, according to the rites of the Church of England. A decree nisi, returnable in six months, was granted. Mr. Toose (instructed by Messrs. Allen, Allen, and Hemsley) appeared for the petitioner.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday, 11 October 1930. Page 8 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

The party below is for Jack with his second wife whom he married in 1934; Miss Rosenthal from Melbourne (Information from Douglas Stewart Fine Books)

 

“Party at Darling Point”

MRS. JOHN FAVIELL, looking very cool in a pink and grey floral sheer frock and shady natural straw hat, was hurrying about town in yesterday’s heat to complete arrangements for the Christmas party and dance at her home, 20 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point, on Friday.

The party will be held from Ave till ten p.m., and the proceeds will be in aid of the Blind Institution. A Christmas tree will be among the attractions.

The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, 15 December 1937. Page 12 on the Trove website [Online] Cited 05/11/2019

 

"Trip to Canberra," 5/6 November, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Canberra,” 5/6 November, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Prime Minister's Residence," 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Prime Minister’s Residence,” 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Trip to Canberra," 5/6 November, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Trip to Canberra,” 5/6 November, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

The prophetic tombstone of Sarah, George and Betsy Webb. The inscription is prophetic “For here we have no continuing city but seek one to come” St John’s Churchyard, Constitution Avenue, Reid.

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Dorothy Edith Isabel Hope-Morley (Hobart-Hampden)
Birthdate: April 11, 1891
Death: December 15, 1972
Daughter of Sidney, 7th Earl of Buckinghamshire, OBE and Georgiana Wilhelmina, Countess of Buckinghamshire
Wife of Hon. Claude Hope-Morley
Mother of Gordon Hope Hope-Morley, 3rd Baron Hollenden and Hon Ann Rosemary Hope Newman
Sister of John Hobart-Hampden-Mercer-Henderson, 8th Earl of Buckinghamshire and Lady Sidney Mary Catherine Anne Hobart-Hampden

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,' 10/12th July, 1927 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Taken by Lady Dorothy Hope-Morley, Jenolan Caves Trip,’ 10/12th July, 1927 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Ellen's Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat)," 1925 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine, Scotland (Audrey & me in boat),” 1925 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

This photograph, the only one from overseas (Scotland), must be from Audrey and Jack’s honeymoon (1925). It is interesting that there are no other photographs from either the wedding or the honeymoon in the album. Of course, the marriage photographs could have been housed in a purpose built wedding album, but the haphazard nature of the construction of this album, with the photographs out of date order, and this the only one from the honeymoon, make me think that this album was assembled in the 1930s. Marcus

 

"Untitled," c. 1927-30 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1927-30 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," c. 1927-30 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1927-30 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Sydney Harbour Bridge construction

Arch construction itself began on 26 October 1928. The southern end of the bridge was worked on ahead of the northern end, to detect any errors and to help with alignment. The cranes would “creep” along the arches as they were constructed, eventually meeting up in the middle. In less than two years, on Tuesday, 19 August 1930, the two halves of the arch touched for the first time. Workers riveted both top and bottom sections of the arch together, and the arch became self-supporting, allowing the support cables to be removed. On 20 August 1930 the joining of the arches was celebrated by flying the flags of Australia and the United Kingdom from the jibs of the creeper cranes.

Text from the Wikipedia website [Online] Cited 31/10/2019

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew," 1929-1930 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Sydney Harbour Bridge As It Grew,” 1929-1930 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bridge Opening, 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bridge Opening, 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Showing anchor cables," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Showing anchor cables,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Federal and State Govenors arriving,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Mounted Police," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Mounted Police,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Aborigines," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Aborigines,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Old King Street Bus," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old King Street Bus,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"An early Hupmobile car," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“An early Hupmobile car,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

Hupmobile was an automobile built from 1909 through 1939 by the Hupp Motor Car Company.

 

"First Auto-Gyro (The World's First Auto-Gyro Plane, 1909-12)," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“First Auto-Gyro (The World’s First Auto-Gyro Plane, 1909-12),” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge - 20th March, 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pageantry at Official Opening of Harbour Bridge – 20th March, 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Surf girls drawing Float,” from the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Surf girls drawing Float,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"The Southern Cross," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“The Southern Cross,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Pioneers Float," March, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Pioneers Float,” March, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

Australian National Travel Association Smith and Julius Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.) (printer) 'Australia's 150th Anniversary Sydney 1938: Pageantry and carnival January 26th - April 25th' Sydney: The Association, 1938

 

Australian National Travel Association
Smith and Julius Studios (Sydney, N.S.W.) (printer)
Australia’s 150th Anniversary Sydney 1938: Pageantry and carnival January 26th – April 25th
Sydney: The Association, 1938
Poster
101.2 x 62.4cm
© National Library of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

‘The 26th of January, 1938, is not a day of rejoicing for Australia’s Aborigines; it is a day of mourning. This festival of 150 years’ so-called “progress” in Australia commemorates also 150 years of misery and degradation imposed upon the original native inhabitants by the white invaders of this country.

‘We, representing the Aborigines, now ask you, the reader of this appeal, to pause in the midst of your sesqui-centenary rejoicings and ask yourself honestly whether your “conscience” is clear in regard to the treatment of the Australian blacks by the Australian whites during the period of 150 years’ history which you celebrate?’

‘You are the New Australians, but we are the Old Australians. We have in our arteries the blood of the Original Australians, who have lived in this land for many thousands of years.’

‘You came here only recently, and you took our land away from us by force. You have almost exterminated our people, but there are enough of us remaining to expose the humbug of your claim, as white Australians, to be a civilised, progressive, kindly and humane nation.’

‘Aborigines Claim Citizen Rights!: A Statement of the Case for the Aborigines Progressive Association’, the Publicist, 1938, p. 3 quoted in Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Charles Meere (Australian, 1890-1961) '1788-1938, 150 years of progress: Australia celebrates January 26 - April 25, 1938' 1938

 

Charles Meere (Australian, 1890-1961)
1788-1938, 150 years of progress: Australia celebrates January 26 – April 25, 1938
1938
Poster
101.5 x 63.5cm
© National Library of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

'Poster advertising the Day of Mourning' 1938

 

Poster advertising the Day of Mourning
1938
AIATSIS Collection

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

In 1938, a poster invited “Aborigines and persons of Aboriginal blood” to attend the Day of Mourning and Protest at the Australian Hall, Sydney. It was to be held on 26 January, the 150th anniversary of European colonisation. The protest, calling for full citizen status and equality, was led by William Cooper, Pearl Gibbs, Jack Patten and William Ferguson.

Keith Munro, MCA Curator Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs, says, “The Day of Mourning event is seen as the first Aboriginal civil rights protest in Australian history. The actions that took place on this day later resulted in the establishment of a national day of celebration and achievement, which turned into a longer event now known as NAIDOC Week.”

Anonymous. “Marking 80 years since the Day of Mourning,” on the Museum of Contemporary Art website 17 May 2018 [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'The first Day of Mourning' 1938

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
The first Day of Mourning. From the left is William Ferguson, Jack Kinchela, Isaac Ingram, Doris Williams, Esther Ingram, Arthur Williams, Phillip Ingram, Louisa Agnes Ingram OAM holding daughter Olive Ingram, and Jack Patten. The name of the person in the background to the right is not known at this stage.
AIATSIS Collection

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

 

The first Day of Mourning was a culmination of years of work by the Australian Aborigines League (AAL) and the Aborigines Progressive Association (APA). It would became the inspiration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism throughout the remainder of the twentieth century. In the early 1960s, both organisations would reform and reshape and become the driving force calling for a constitutional referendum that would take place in 1967.

The AAL was able to persuade many religious denominations to declare the Sunday before Australia Day as ‘Aboriginal Sunday’. This was to serve as a reminder of the unjust treatment of Indigenous people. The first of these took place in 1940 and continued until 1955, when it moved to the first Sunday in July.

In 1957, with support and cooperation from federal and state governments, the churches and major Indigenous organisations, a National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed, which continues to this day as NAIDOC.

Anonymous. “The 1938 Day of Mourning,” on the AIATSIS website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'Jack Patten reads the resolution at the Day of Mourning Conference on 26 January 1938'

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
Jack Patten reads the resolution at the Day of Mourning Conference on 26 January 1938
Mar. 1938 (publication date), Sydney, N.S.W.: Man magazine
12 x 17cm
© Collections of the State Library of New South Wales

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'In this 1938 re-enactment of Governor Phillip's landing, Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove. A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion' 1938

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
In this 1938 re-enactment of Governor Phillip’s landing, Aborigines (specially brought in for the occasion) are shown running up the beach as the boats of the First Fleet marines land at Farm Cove. A group of white dignitaries sits in comfortable safety watching the invasion
1938
© Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW – Home and Away

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

Unknown photographer (Australian) 'Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988' 1988

 

Unknown photographer (Australian)
Aboriginal protests on Sydney Harbour, Australia Day, 1988
1988

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) Pat Fiske (director) 'Australia Daze' (film still) 1988

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)
Pat Fiske 
(director)
Australia Daze (film still)
1988

 

 

National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA)
Pat Fiske 
(director)
Australia Daze (film clip)
1988

 

 

The production of Australia Daze involved dozens of camera crews across the nation, filming from midnight to midnight on 26 January 1988, in order to capture the many facets of the bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. From First Fleet re-enactments to Indigenous protests, backyard barbeques to royal visits, Australia Daze chronicles a broad array of events on that historic day and diverse voices and perspectives from across Australian society.

Australia Daze is a snapshot of one day in the millennia-long history of the country. The film is an opportunity for Australians to remember where they were, or to catch a glimpse of Australia’s past before they were born or arrived here. It is a chance to reflect on how much things have changed in 33 years – and also how little has changed.

Anonymous media release from the NFSA website Nd [Online] Cited 21/02/2022

 

Loui Seselja (Australian, b. 1948) 'Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Walk for Reconciliation, Corroboree 2000, with the Aboriginal flag flying beside the Australian flag' 2000

 

Loui Seselja (Australian, b. 1948)
Sydney Harbour Bridge during the Walk for Reconciliation, Corroboree 2000, with the Aboriginal flag flying beside the Australian flag
2000
22.5 x 30.7cm
© National Museum of Australia

Used under fair use condition for the purpose for research or study

 

"Untitled," c. 1932-33 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” c. 1932-33 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled," October/November, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled,” October/November, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Chrysler 70, bought Nov., 1932," in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Chrysler 70, bought Nov., 1932,” in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Springfield", Byng, Near Orange, October 1932" in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield”, Byng, Near Orange, October 1932″ in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Byng

… an area of scattered houses in green valleys (when there is no drought) dates back to before 1856.

It was originally named ‘Cornish Village’ after the original Cornish settlers who brought the first fruit trees from Cornwall and gave birth to the Orange district’s fruit industry on the ‘Pendarvis’ property. Apples were produced in Byng for over 100 years but now there are mainly cattle, sheep and a little cropping.

Driving through the winding lanes with hawthorn hedgerows on either side you will see in the distance an old homestead (Springfield) which has an old Celtic custom – on the porch there are three welcome stones. The host stands on one, the guest on another – then they greet each other on the centre stone.

Text from the Orange website [Online] Cited 01/11/2019. No longer available online

 

"Springfield", Byng, Near Orange, October 1932" in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield”, Byng, Near Orange, October 1932″ in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Remains of the first house built in Byng," October, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Remains of the first house built in Byng,” October, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"At Springfield," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At Springfield,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"J.F. and Woodward," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“J.F. and Woodward,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"At Springfield," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At Springfield,” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled (Rabbiting)," 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled (Rabbiting),” 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Hawksbury River,' 1932-33 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Hawksbury River,’ 1932-33 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Betty Broad," 16th October, 1932 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Betty Broad,” 16th October, 1932 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Lucknow, Near Orange," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Lucknow, Near Orange,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Lucknow

1929-1935: Prospecting rarely ever ceases on a once lucrative gold-field and in 1928-9 companies such as St. Algnan’s (New Guinea) Gold Lodes N.L. and Lucknow Gold Options Co. were quite busy. In particular St. Aignan’s found a rich ‘brown vein’ away from ‘that portion already riddled with holes’, at a depth of only 38 feet. …

The village has a large potential to attract tourists. The iron head-frames at Wentworth Main and at Reform, right beside the highway in the village area with their accompanying equipment, are the most strikingly accessible of gold mining memorials. At Wentworth Main moreover, the largest of the iron sheds still contains a great deal of equipment, including the stamper battery and various engines. In the paddock to the west of the highway there is isolated equipment- a boiler, a winding engine. The winding house for Reform still stands.

Anonymous. “Gold mining at Lucknow,” on the Orange website [Online] Cited 01/11/2019

 

"Washing for gold on Springfield," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Washing for gold on Springfield,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"St. Aignan Gold Mine," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“St. Aignan Gold Mine,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Springfield," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Springfield,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Old Bill on the binder," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Old Bill on the binder,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Woodward : McColville ; J.F., filling the ensilage pit," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Woodward : McColville ; J.F., filling the ensilage pit,” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

 

Silage is a type of fodder made from green foliage crops which have been preserved by acidification, achieved through fermentation. It can be fed to cattle, sheep and other such ruminants (cud-chewing animals). The fermentation and storage process is called ensilage, ensiling or silaging, and is usually made from grass crops, including maize, sorghum or other cereals, using the entire green plant (not just the grain).

 

"At "Millambri", Canowindra," 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“At “Millambri”, Canowindra,” 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bathurst," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bathurst,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Untitled (Victoria)," November, 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Untitled (Victoria),” November, 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Myers, Melbourne," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Myers, Melbourne,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

"Bourke St., Melbourne," November 1933 in John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

“Bourke St., Melbourne,” November 1933 in John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album

 

John "Jack" Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album back cover

 

John “Jack” Riverstone Faviell 1922-1933 photo album back cover

 

 

State Library of New South Wales website

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08
Oct
17

Review: ‘Brave New World: Australia 1930s’ at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 14th July – 15th October 2017

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

 

Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGV Australia, Melbourne is a small but stylishly designed exhibition that presents well in the gallery spaces. The look and feel of the exhibition is superb, and it was a joy to see so many works in so many disparate medium brought together to represent a decade in the history of Australia: photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, ceramic art, magazine art, travel posters, Art Deco radios, film, couture, culture, Aboriginal art, and furniture making, to name but a few.

The strong exhibition addresses most of the concerns of the 1930s – The Great Depression, beach and body culture, style, fashion, identity, culture, prelude to WW2, dystopian and utopian cities etc., – but it all felt a little cramped and truncated. Such a challenging time period needed a more expansive investigation. What there is was excellent but one display case on slums or magazine art was not substantive enough. The same can be said for most of the exhibition.

There needed to a lot more about the impact of the Great Depression and people living in poverty, for you get the feeling from this exhibition that everyone was living the Modernist high-life, wearing fashionable frocks and smoking cigarettes sitting around beautifully designed furniture surrounded by geometric textiles. The reality is that this paradigm was the exception rather than the rule. Many people struggled to even feed themselves due to The Great Depression, and it was a time of extreme hardship for people in Australia. Life for many, many people in Australia during the 1930s was a life of disenfranchisement, assimilation, oppression, social struggle, poverty, hunger and a hand to mouth existence.

“After the crash unemployment in Australia more than doubled to twenty-one per cent in mid-1930, and reached its peak in mid-1932 when almost thirty-two per cent of Australians were out of work… The Great Depression’s impact on Australian society was devastating. Without work and a steady income many people lost their homes and were forced to live in makeshift dwellings with poor heating and sanitation.” (Text from “The Great Depression,” on the Australian Government website [Online] Cited 06/10/2017. No longer available online)

New artists and designers may have been emerging, new skyscrapers being built and the new ‘Modern Woman’ may have made her appearance but the changes only affected white, middle and upper social classes. Migrants, particularly those from Italy and southern Europe, were resented because they worked for less wages than others; and only brief mention is made of the White Australia policy in the exhibition but not by name (see text under Indigenous art and culture below). This section was more interested in how white artists appropriated Aboriginal design during this period for their own ends.

With this in mind, it is instructive to read sections of the illustrated handbook (see cover below, handbook not in the exhibition) produced by the National Museum of Victoria (in part, the forerunner of the NGV) to accompany a special exhibition of objects illustrating Australian Aboriginal Art in 1929:

 

“The subject of aboriginal Art – in this case the Art of the Australian Aboriginal – has to be approached with the utmost caution, for, though it comes directly within the domain of anthropology, it is in an indirect way a very important question in psychology and pedagogies. We possess some knowledge of our own mentality through the kind of offices of psychology; but though we have some – many in certain classes – material relics of our primitive and prehistoric ancestor, the only evidence of evolution of thought and the development of his powers of abstract conception must be derived from his art…

Still it appears possible that the study of primitive man, as represented by our Australian black, will throw some new light on the subject, and even if not more important than the old world pictographs themselves, his art work will enable the efforts of the Aurignacian and Magdalenian artists [cultures of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe] to be better comprehended, and their import understood. But, for that study to achieve even a modicum of success, it is essential that the inquiring psychologist divest his mind of all civilized conceptions and mentality and assume those of the prehistoric man – or of the infant of the present day.”1

.
This is the attitude towards Aboriginal art that pervaded major art institutions right across Australia well into the 1950s. That the white has to “divest his mind of all civilised conceptions and mentality and assume those of the prehistoric man” – in other words, he has to become a savage – in order to understand Aboriginal art. It says a lot that the Trustees of the National Museum of Victoria then decided to reprint the illustrated handbook in 1952 without amendment, reprinting the publication originally used for the Exhibition in 1929. Nothing had changed in 22 years!

Other small things in the exhibition rankle. The preponderance of the work of photographer Max Dupain is so overwhelming that from this exhibition, it would seem that he was the only photographer of note working in Australia throughout the decade. While Dupain was the first Modernist photographer in Australia, and a superb artist, Modernist photography was very much on the outer during most of the 1930s… the main art form of photography being that of Pictorialism. None of this under appreciated style of photography makes an appearance in this exhibition because it does not fit the theme of “Brave New World”. This dismisses the work of such people as Cecil Bostock, Harold Cazneaux, Henri Mallard, John Eaton et al as not producing “brave”, or valuable, portraits of a country during this time frame. This is a perspective that needs to be corrected.

Highlights in this exhibition included an earthenware vase by Ethel Blundell; a painting by that most incredible of atmospheric painters, Clarice Beckett (how I long to own one of her paintings!); a wonderful portrait by the underrated Cybil Craig; two stunning Keast Burke photographs; two beautiful stained glass windows of a male and female lifesaver; the slum photographs of F. Oswald Barnett (more please!); and the graphic covers of mostly short-lived radical magazines.

These highlights are worth the price of admission alone. A must see before the exhibition closes.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Footnotes

1/ A. S. Kenyon. “The Art of the Australian Aboriginal.” in Australian Aboriginal Art. Melbourne: Trustees of the National Museum of Victoria, (1929) reprinted 1952, p. 15.

.
Many thankx to the National Gallery of Victoria for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Some installation photographs © Dr Marcus Bunyan. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Australian Aboriginal Art 1962

 

National Museum of Victoria
Australian Aboriginal Art (cover)
1952 (reprint of 1929 illustrated handbook)
Brown, Prior, Anderson Pty. Ltd., Melbourne (publishers)
Trustees of the National Museum of Victoria
39 pages

 

 

The 1930s was a turbulent time in Australia’s history. During this decade major world events, including the Depression and the rise of totalitarian regimes in Europe, shaped our nation’s evolving sense of identity. In the arts, progressive ideas jostled with reactionary positions, and artists brought substantial creative efforts to bear in articulating the pressing concerns of the period. Brave New World: Australia 1930s encompasses the multitude of artistic styles, both advanced and conservative, which were practised during the 1930s. Included are commercial art, architecture, fashion, industrial design, film and dance to present a complete picture of this dynamic time.

The exhibition charts the themes of celebrating technological progress and its antithesis in the nostalgia for pastoralism; the emergence of the ‘New Woman’ and consumerism; nationalism and the body culture movement; the increasing interest in Indigenous art against a backdrop of the government policy of assimilation and mounting calls for Indigenous rights; the devastating effects of the Depression and the rise of radical politics; and the arrival of European refugees and the increasing anxiety at the impending threat of the Second World War. Brave New World: Australia 1930s presents a fresh perspective on the extraordinary 1930s, revealing some of the social and political concerns that were pertinent then and remain so today.

Text from the NGV website

 

Harold Cazneaux (New Zealand 1878 - Australia 1953, Australia from 1886) 'No title (Powerlines and chute)' c. 1935

 

Harold Cazneaux (New Zealand 1878 – Australia 1953, Australia from 1886)
No title (Powerlines and chute)
c. 1935
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of the H. J. Heinz II Charitable and Family Trust, Governor, 1993

 

 

In 1934 BHP (Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited) commissioned leading pictorialist photographer Harold Cazneaux to record their mining and steel operations for a special publication to mark their fiftieth anniversary in 1935. Cazneaux’s dramatic industrial images blended a soft, atmospheric focus with a modernist sense of space, form and geometry. In 1935-36 Australia exported close to 300,000 tonnes of iron ore to Japan; however, after Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 fear of its expansionist aims in the Pacific increased and soon afterwards the federal government announced a ban on the export of all iron ore to Japan.

 

Fred Ward (designer) (Australia 1900-90)

 

Fred Ward (designer) (Australian, 1900-1990)
E. M. Vary, Fitzroy, Melbourne (attributed to) (manufacturer) active 1920s-1940s

Sideboard
c. 1932
Mountain ash (Eucalyptus sp.), painted wood, painted plywood, steel
(a-e) 84.0 x 119.7 x 48.7cm (overall)
Proposed acquisition

Side table
c. 1932
Mountain ash (Eucalyptus sp.), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata), steel
55.7 x 66.0 x 49.2cm
Proposed acquisition

Tray table
c. 1932
Mountain ash (Eucalyptus sp.), blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), steel
(a-b) 52.0 x 60.9 x 42.5cm (overall)
Proposed acquisition

 

 

A new generation of artists and designers

While modern art was a source of debate and controversy throughout the 1930s, modernism in architecture, interior design, industrial design and advertising became highly fashionable. In Melbourne a small group of designers pioneered modern design in Australia. Furniture designer Fred Ward first designed and made furniture for his home in Eaglemont, where he had established a studio workshop. It was admired by friends and he was encouraged to produce furniture for sale. In 1932 Ward opened a shop in Collins Street, Melbourne. There he offered his furniture, as well as linens and Scandinavian glass. The fabrics for curtains and upholstery were printed by Australian designer Michael O’Connell with bold designs that shocked some but were favoured by a new generation looking to create modern interiors.

More than in most periods, in the 1930s art, design and architecture were closely integrated with the changing realities of contemporary life. It was a time when the last vestiges of the conservative art establishment were swept away by a new generation of artists and designers who were to drive Australian art in the second half of the twentieth century.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation views of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Max Dupain’s Illustration for Kelvinator advertisement at left and Ethel Blundell’s Vase centre on sidboard
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

 

Fred Ward was one of the first and most important designers of modern furniture in Australia. He began making furniture around 1930, and in 1932 opened a shop in Collins Street selling his furniture, as well as textiles by Michael O’Connell and other modern design pieces. In 1934 Ward went into partnership with Myer Emporium and established the Myer Design Unit, for which he designed a line of modular ‘unit’ furniture for commercial production. Ward’s simple, functional aesthetic and use of local timbers with a natural waxed finish was in contrast to the luxurious materials and decorative motifs of the contemporary Art Deco style.

The armchair, sideboard and occasional tables were designed by Fred Ward and purchased by Maie Casey in the early 1930s. The wife of R. G. Casey, federal treasurer in the Lyons Government, Maie was a prominent supporter of modern art and design. Moving to Canberra in 1932, she furnished her house at Duntroon in a modern style with furniture by Ward and textiles by Michael O’Connell. The design of Ward’s armchair closely resembles a 1920s armchair by German Bauhaus furniture designer Erich Dieckmann, who was known for his standardised wooden furniture based on geometric designs.

 

Michael O'Connell designer (England 1898-1976, Australia 1920-37) 'Textile' c. 1933

 

Michael O’Connell designer (England 1898-1976, Australia 1920-1937)
Textile
c. 1933
Block printed linen
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1988

 

 

Michael O’Connell pioneered modernist textiles in Melbourne and was an influential advocate of modern design. Working with his wife Ella from his studio in Beaumaris, O’Connell used woodblocks and linocuts to hand print onto raw linens and silks, which were used for fashion garments and home furnishing. O’Connell’s boldly patterned and highly stylised designs were considered startlingly modern. Some of his early fabrics featured ‘jazz age’ scenes of nightclubs and dancing, while later motifs were based on Australian flora and fauna, or derived from Oceanic and Aboriginal art.

 

Sam Atyeo. 'Album of designs: tables' c. 1933 - c. 1936

 

Sam Atyeo (Australian, 1910-1990)
Album of designs: tables
c. 1933 – c. 1936
Album: watercolour, brush and coloured inks, coloured pencils, 14 designs tipped into an album of 16 grey pages, card covers, tape and stapled binding
30.0 x 19.2 cm (page) 30.0 x 20.8 x 0.8cm (closed)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of the artist, 1988

 

 

Sam Atyeo was a leading figure in Melbourne’s emerging modernist circles in the early 1930s, the partner of artist Moya Dyring and lover of Sunday Reed. He had studied at the National Gallery School, where he was a brilliant and rebellious student. Around 1932 Atyeo became friendly with Cynthia Reed, who managed Fred Ward’s furniture shop and interior design consultancy on Collins Street. After she opened Cynthia Reed Modern Furnishings in Little Collins Street, Atyeo designed furniture for Reed, that was strongly influenced by Ward’s designs.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Illustration for Kelvinator advertisement' 1936

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-1992)
Illustration for Kelvinator advertisement
1936
Gelatin silver photograph
32.8 x 25.3cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors’ Program 2000

 

Ethel Blundell. 'Vase' 1936

 

Ethel Blundell (Australian, 1918-2010, worked in Switzerland 1946-2010)
Vase
1936
Earthenware
17.6 x 16.8cm diameter
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mrs Margaret Howie, Governor, 1999
© Ethel Blundell

 

 

Utopian cities

Modernity reflected what was new and progressive in Australian urban life. The image of the city became an allegory for this in art, and efficiency and speed became watchwords for modernity. Many artists celebrated the city and technological advancements in works utilising a modern style of hard-edged forms, flat colours and dynamic compositions. The engineering marvel of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932, was an ongoing source of fascination for artists, as were images of building the city, industry and modern modes of transport.

The skyscraper was also a powerful symbol of modern prosperity, especially when the Great Depression cast doubt on the inevitability of progress; hence the advent of tall buildings in Australian cities was hailed with relief and optimism. In 1932, at the peak of the Depression, the tallest building in Melbourne was opened: the Manchester Unity Building at the corner of Swanston and Collins streets. With its ornamental tower and spire taking its overall height to 64 metres, the building was welcomed by The Age newspaper as ‘a new symbol of enterprise and confidence, undaunted by the “temporary eclipse” of the country’s economic fortune’.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Seventh city of the Empire – Melbourne, Victoria at left; and Evening dress at right
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Percy Trompf (Australia 1902-64) 'Seventh city of the Empire - Melbourne, Victoria' 1930s

 

Percy Trompf (Australian, 1902-1964)
Seventh city of the Empire – Melbourne, Victoria
1930s
Colour lithograph printed by J. E. Hackett, Melbourne
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Grant Lee, 2007

 

 

Percy Trompf’s poster celebrates Melbourne’s first skyscraper, the iconic Manchester Unity Building on the corner of Swanston and Collins streets. Designed by architect Marcus Barlow in the Art Deco ‘Gothic’ style, it was built at high speed between 1930 and 1932, and provided much needed employment during the Depression. At twelve storeys high and topped with a decorative tower it was Melbourne’s tallest building and contained the city’s first escalators. A powerful symbol of the city’s modernity, it was often featured in images of Melbourne.

 

Unknown, Australia 'Evening dress' c. 1935

 

Unknown, Australia
Evening dress
c. 1935
Silk
144.0cm (centre back), 36.0cm (waist, flat)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Miss Irene Mitchell, 1975

 

Ethel Spowers (Australia 1890-1947, England and France 1921-24) 'The works, Yallourn' 1933

 

Ethel Spowers (Australia 1890-1947, England and France 1921-1924)
The works, Yallourn
1933
Colour linocut, ed. 3/50
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Joseph Brown Collection
Presented through the NGV Foundation by Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Honorary Life Benefactor, 2004

 

 

Ethel Spowers and Eveline Syme were leading figures in modern art in Melbourne. In the 1920s they studied with modernist Claude Flight at the Grosvenor School in London, where they learnt to make colour linocuts that followed Flight’s principles of rhythmic design combined with flat colour. In April 1933 Spowers and Syme visited the Yallourn Power Station in Gippsland, which had been opened in 1928 and was the largest supplier of electricity to the state.

 

Vida Lahey (Australia 1882-1968) 'Sultry noon (Central Station Brisbane)' 1931

 

Vida Lahey (Australian, 1882-1968)
Sultry noon (Central Station Brisbane)
1931
Oil on canvas on plywood
44.7 x 49.2cm
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane Purchased 1983
© QAGOMA

 

Clarice Beckett (Australia 1887-1935) 'Taxi rank' c. 1931

 

Clarice Beckett (Australian, 1887-1935)
Taxi rank
c. 1931
Oil on canvas on board
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

 

Installation view of Herbert Badham's 'George Street, Sydney' (1934) from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Herbert Badham’s George Street, Sydney (1934) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

After serving in the Royal Australian Navy during the First World War, Herbert Badham studied at the Sydney Art School and began exhibiting in 1927. In his paintings he was a keen observer of everyday urban life: streets with shoppers, city workers on their lunch break and drinkers in the pub were painted in a contemporary, hard-edged realist style.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Rush hour in King's Cross' 1938, printed c. 1986

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Rush hour in King’s Cross
1938, printed c. 1986
Gelatin silver photograph
41.2 x 40.3cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Mr A.C. Goode, Fellow, 1987

 

 

During the 1930s the city provided a rich source of imagery for artists working in modern styles, who celebrated the speed and efficiency of modern transport technology and expanding road and rail networks. Yet as car ownership increased during the 1930s, larger cities began to suffer congestion and the rush hour became part of urban life. Throughout the decade the pace and stress of modern life became a topic of public debate, with conservative commentators decrying this transformation of the Australian lifestyle.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Max Dupain’s Rush hour in King’s Cross at right
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Grace Cossington Smith’s The Bridge in-curve at right
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Grace Cossington Smith. 'The Bridge in-curve' 1930

 

Grace Cossington Smith (Australia 1892-1984, England and Germany 1912-14, England and Italy 1949-1951)
The Bridge in-curve
1930
Tempera on cardboard
83.6 x 111.8cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented by the National Gallery Society of Victoria, 1967
© Estate of Grace Cossington Smith

 

 

The slow rise of the Sydney Harbour Bridge above the city was recorded by numerous painters, printmakers and photographers, including Sydney modernist Grace Cossington Smith. Her iconic The Bridge-in-curve depicts the bridge just before its two arches were joined in August 1930, and conveys the sense of wonder, achievement and hope that was inspired by this engineering marvel. By painting the emerging, rather than the complete bridge, Cossington Smith also focuses our attention on the energy and ambition required to create it.

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-92, United States 1927-34) 'Trains passing' 1940

 

Installation view of Frank Hinder’s Trains passing (1940) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-92, United States 1927-34) 'Trains passing' 1940

 

Frank Hinder (Australian, 1906-1992, United States 1927-1934)
Trains passing
1940
Oil on composition board
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1974

 

 

Frank Hinder was one of the first abstract artists in Australia. After living and studying in the United States, Hinder and his wife, the American sculptor Margel, returned to Sydney in 1934. There they became part of a small avant-garde group that included Grace Crowley, Rah Fizelle, Ralph Balson and the German sculptor and art historian Eleanore Lange, all of whom were interested in Cubist, Constructivist and Futurist art. Hinder later said that this work was inspired by seeing Lange, sitting next to him on a train, reflected in the windows of a passing train.

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-92, United States 1927-34) 'Commuters' 1938

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-1992, United States 1927-1934)
Commuters
1938
Tempera on paper on board
Private collection

 

Victorian Railways, Melbourne (publisher) Australia 1856-1976 'The Victorian Railways present The Spirit of Progress' 1937

 

Victorian Railways, Melbourne (publisher) (Australia, 1856-1976)
The Victorian Railways present The Spirit of Progress
1937
Booklet: colour photolithographs and letterpress,
12 pages, cardboard cover
printed by Queen City Printers, Melbourne
20.8 x 26.8cm (closed)
State Library Victoria, Melbourne

 

 

Launched in November 1937, The Spirit of Progress express passenger train was a source of immense pride to Victorians. Built in Newport, Victoria, the train featured many innovations, including all-steel carriages and full air-conditioning. Designed in the Art Deco, streamlined style by architectural firm Stephenson & Turner, the passenger carriages were fitted out to a level of comfort not previously seen in Australia, and included a full dining carriage. The train ran between Melbourne and the New South Wales state border at Albury, the longest non-stop train journey in Australia at that time, at an average speed of 84 kilometres per hour.

 

Installation view of Ivor Francis' 'Speed!' from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Ivor Francis’ Speed! from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Ivor Francis (England 1906-Australia 1993, Australia from 1924) 'Speed!' 1931

 

Ivor Francis (England 1906 – Australia 1993, Australia from 1924)
Speed!
1931
Colour process block print
Art Gallery of South Australia
Adelaide South Australian Government Grant 1986

 

Randille, Melbourne (maker) active 1930s 'Night gown' c. 1938

 

Randille, Melbourne (maker) active 1930s
Night gown
c. 1938
Silk (a) 166.0cm (centre back) 38.9cm (waist, flat) (dress) (b) 121.0cm (centre back) 38.0cm (waist, flat) (slip)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented by Mrs A. G. Pringle, 1982

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Max Dupain’s Rush hour in King’s Cross left and Frank Hinder’s Jackhammer third from right and Margel Hinder’s Man with jackhammer second right
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Margel Hinder (United States 1906-Australia 1995, Australia from 1934) 'Man with jackhammer' 1939

 

Margel Hinder (United States 1906 – Australia 1995, Australia from 1934)
Man with jackhammer
1939
Cedar
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of J. B. Were & Son, Governor, 2001

 

 

American-born Margel Hinder was one of Australia’s leading modernist sculptors. She had studied art in Boston, where she met and married Sydney artist Frank Hinder. In 1934 they moved to Australia and became an important part of Sydney’s small modern art scene. In Man with jackhammer Hinder has simplified and contained the figure within a square frame, the strong diagonal form of the jackhammer creating a sense of compressed energy and force. Man and machine have fused in this celebration of industry and progress.

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-92, United States 1927-34) 'Jackhammer' 1936

 

Frank Hinder (Australia 1906-1992, United States 1927-1934)
Jackhammer
1936
Airbrush on black paper
52.0 x 38.0cm
Private collection, Sydney
© Enid Hawkins

 

 

Modern Woman

In the 1930s the new ‘Modern Woman’ made her appearance as a more serious and emancipated version of the giddy 1920s ‘flapper’. A woman who worked, she often lived alone in one of the new city apartment buildings, visited nightclubs and showed less interest in traditional marriage and child rearing. A lean body type became fashionable and was enhanced by the lengthened hemlines and defined waists introduced by French couturier Jean Patou in 1929. This slender silhouette was supported by form-fitting foundation garments by manufacturers such as Berlei.

The Modern Woman became one of the most potent images of contemporary life, being celebrated in women’s magazines such as the ultra-stylish Home and the Australian Women’s Weekly, launched in 1933. While such magazines were congratulating her and promoting new consumer goods to the Modern Woman, at the same time she was criticised by conservative commentators. In 1937 photographer Max Dupain wrote: ‘There must be a great shattering of modern values if woman is to continue to perpetuate the race… In her shred of a dress and little helmet of a hat, her cropped hair, and stark bearing, the modern woman is a sort of a soldier… It is not her fault it is her doom’.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Peter Purves Smith’s Maisie left, Cybil Craig’s Peggy second left and Peter Purves Smith’s Lucile at  top right
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Cybil Craig’s Peggy second left and Lina Bryans The babe is wise at right
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Peter Purves Smith (Australia 1912-49, England 1935-36, England and France 1938-40) 'Maisie' 1938-39

 

Peter Purves Smith (Australia 1912-1949, England 1935-1936, England and France 1938-1940)
Maisie
1938-1939
Gouache
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Bequest of Lady Maisie Drysdale 2001

 

 

In 1937 the striking, auburn-haired Maisie Newbold was a student at the George Bell School in Melbourne, where she met fellow student Peter Purves Smith and his best friend Russell Drysdale. Maisie and Purves Smith were married in 1946, only three years before latter’s premature death from tuberculosis. Purves Smith painted this portrait at the start of their relationship. It depicts Maisie as a stylish woman wearing the latest fashion, the angularity of her features contrasted by the soft fur of her collar and feathers of her hat. Many years later Maisie married Drysdale.

 

Installation view of Sybil Craig's work 'Peggy' c. 1932

 

Installation view of Sybil Craig’s work Peggy c. 1932
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Sybil Craig (England 1901 - Australia 1909, Australia from 1902) 'Peggy' c. 1932

 

Sybil Craig (England 1901 – Australia 1909, Australia from 1902)
Peggy
c. 1932
Oil on canvas
40.4 x 30.4cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1978
© The Estate of Sybil Craig

 

Lina Bryans (Germany (of Australian parents) 1909-Australia 2000, Australia from 1910) 'The babe is wise' 1940

 

Lina Bryans (Germany (of Australian parents) 1909 – Australia 2000, Australia from 1910)
The babe is wise
1940
Oil on cardboard
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Miss Jean Campbell, 1962

 

 

Lina Bryans’s portrait of author Jean Campbell is titled after Campbell’s 1939 novel The Babe is Wise, a contemporary story set in Melbourne and in which the main protagonists are European migrants. A well-known figure in Melbourne’s literary circles, Campbell was noted for her ‘quick and slightly audacious wit’. Bryans had begun painting in 1937 with the support of William Frater. In the late 1930s she lived at Darebin Bridge House, which became an informal artists’ colony and meeting place for writers associated with the journal Meanjin.

 

Peter Purves Smith (Australia 1912-49, England 1935-36, England and France 1938-40) 'Lucile' 1937

 

Peter Purves Smith (Australian, 1912-1949, England 1935-1936, England and France 1938-1940)
Lucile
1937
Oil on board
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Purchased 2011 with funds raised through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Appeal

 

Nora Heysen (Australia 1911-2003, England and Italy 1934-37) 'Self-portrait' 1932

 

Nora Heysen (Australian, 1911-2003, England and Italy 1934-1937)
Self-portrait
1932
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Acquired with the assistance of the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2011

 

 

During the first decade of her life as a professional artist, Nora Heysen completed numerous self-portraits. In many of these she depicts herself in the act of drawing or painting, holding a palette and brush or with other accoutrements of the artist, and thereby asserting her professional identity. Yet these are also highly charged works in which Heysen scrutinises herself (and the viewer) with an unflinching and unsmiling gaze.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Arthur Challen’s Miss Moira Madden above chair
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Arthur Challen 'Miss Moira Madden' 1937

 

Arthur Challen
Miss Moira Madden
1937
Oil on canvas
89.8 x 77.4cm (framed)
State Library of Victoria
Gift of Mrs S. M. Challen, 1966
© The Estate of Arthur Challen

 

 

Body culture

The terrible physical losses and psychological traumas of the First World War changed Australian society and prompted anxious concerns about the direction of the nation. For some this meant an inward-looking isolationism, a desire that Australian culture should develop independently and untouched by the ‘degenerate’ influences of Europe.

The search for rejuvenation frequently involved explorations of the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the human body. In the hands of artists, corporeal forms came to symbolise nationhood, most often expressed through references to the art of Classical Greece and mythological subjects. The evolution of a new Australian ‘type’ was also proposed in the 1930s – a white Australian drawn from British stock, but with an athletic and streamlined shape honed by time spent swimming and surfing on local beaches.

This art often has a distinctive quality to it, which in the light of history can sometimes make for disquieting viewing. With the terrible knowledge of how the Nazi Party in Germany subsequently used eugenics in its systematic slaughter of those with so-called ‘bad blood’, the Australian enthusiasm for ‘body culture’ can now seem problematic. Images of muscular nationalism soon lost their cache in Australia following the Second World War, tainted by undesirable fascistic overtones.

 

Keast Burke (New Zealand 1896 - Australia 1974, Australia from 1904) 'Harvest' c. 1940

 

Keast Burke (New Zealand 1896 – Australia 1974, Australia from 1904)
Harvest
c. 1940
Gelatin silver photograph (25.6 x 30.5cm)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gerstl Bequest, 2000

 

Keast Burke (New Zealand 1896 - Australia 1974, Australia from 1904) 'Husbandry 1' c. 1940

 

Keast Burke (New Zealand 1896 – Australia 1974, Australia from 1904)
Husbandry 1
c. 1940
Gelatin silver photograph
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Gift of Iris Burke 1989

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Discus thrower' 1937, printed (c. 1939)

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Discus thrower
1937, printed (c. 1939)
Gelatin silver photograph
38.5 x 37.5cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2003

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Souvenir of Cronulla' 1937

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Souvenir of Cronulla
1937
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of National Australia Bank Limited, Honorary Life Benefactor, 1992

 

 

In the 1930s Max Dupain responded to Henri Bergson’s book Creative Evolution (1907) in which he considered creativity and intuition as central to the renewed development of society, and the artist as prime possessor of these powers. Vitalism, as this philosophy was termed, was believed to be expressed through polarised sexual energies. In this work Dupain focuses on the sexually differentiated ‘energies’ of men and women, associating women with the forces of nature.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Daphne Mayo’s A young Australian in foreground
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Daphne Mayo (Australia 1895-1982, England 1919-23, France 1923-25) 'A young Australian' 1930, cast 1931

 

Daphne Mayo (Australian, 1895-1982, England 1919-1923, France 1923-1925)
A young Australian
1930, cast 1931
Bronze, marble
(a-b) 51.0 x 35.2 x 18.1cm (overall)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Purchased 1930
© 1982 by The Surf Life Saving Foundation and the Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (Q.)

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Dorothy Thornhill’s Neo-classical nudes and Resting Diana at left; Tom Purvis’ Australia’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations (wall print) at centre rear; and Jean Broome-Norton’s Abundance on plinth at right
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Tom Purvis (England 1888-1959) 'Australia's 150th Anniversary Celebrations' c. 1938

 

Tom Purvis (England, 1888-1959)
Australia’s 150th Anniversary Celebrations
c. 1938
Colour lithograph
Courtesy of Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

 

Installation view of Dorothy Thornhill's 'Neo-classical nudes' from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Dorothy Thornhill’s Neo-classical nudes from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Dorothy Thornhill (England 1910 - Australia 1987, New Zealand 1920-29, Australia from 1929) 'Resting Diana' 1931

 

Dorothy Thornhill (England 1910 – Australia 1987, New Zealand 1920-1929, Australia from 1929)
Resting Diana
1931
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1977

 

 

The invocation of the Classical body as a modern prototype was a powerful idea in the 1930s. The Graeco- Roman goddess Diana, the virgin patron goddess of the hunt, was popularly invoked as an ideal of female perfection, and represented with a slender and athletic physique. Dorothy Thornhill’s Diana is a remarkable visualisation of such a ‘modern Diana’, her angular body and defined musculature reflecting the masculinisation of female bodies at this time. She is a formidable presence, the quiver of arrows slung nonchalantly across her shoulders a trophy of her victory over the male gender.

 

Jean Broome-Norton (Australia 1911-2002) 'Abundance' 1934

 

Jean Broome-Norton (Australian, 1911-2002)
Abundance
1934
Plaster, bronze patination
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of ICI Australia Limited, Fellow, 1994

 

 

“High-rise buildings, fast trains and engineering feats such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge jostled against the Great Depression, conservatism and a looming Second World War during the 1930s, one of the most turbulent decades in Australian history. The major exhibition at the NGV, Brave New World: Australia 1930s, will explore the way artists and designers engaged with these major issues providing a fresh look at a period characterised by both optimism and despair. The exhibition will present a broad-ranging collection of more than 200 works spanning photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture and decorative arts as well as design, architecture, fashion, graphics, film and dance.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, commented, “Brave New World explores an important period of Australian art history during which Abstraction, Surrealism and Expressionism first emerged, and women artists arose as trailblazers of the modern art movement. It will offer an immersive look at the full spectrum of visual and creative culture of the period, from Max Dupain’s iconic depictions of the Australian body and beach culture to a vast display of nearly 40 Art Deco radios, which were an indispensable item for the Australian home during the 1930s.”

Presented thematically, Brave New World will show how artists and designers responded to major social and political concerns of the 1930s. The Great Depression, which saw Australia’s unemployment rate rise to 32% by 1932, is seen through the eyes of photographer F. Oswald Barnett in his powerful images of poverty-stricken inner Melbourne suburbs such as Fitzroy, Collingwood and Carlton, and in the works of Danila Vassilieff, Yosl Bergner, Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker who were among the first artists to depict Australia’s working class and destitute.

In contrast, many other artists at the time chose to focus upon the vibrant city streets, cafes and buildings of contemporary Australian cities, such as renowned modernist Grace Cossington Smith with her energetic canvasses of flat colours and abstracted forms. Other artists featured in Brave New World including Hilda Rix Nicholas and Elioth Gruner concentrated on more traditional scenes of the Australian bush, which was seen as a place of respite from the frenetic pace of modern city life.

The exhibition will explore artists’ responses to the growing calls for Indigenous rights during the 1930s, which was accompanied by a rising interest in Aboriginal art and particularly the work of Albert Namatjira, the first Indigenous artist of renown in Australia; and the rise of the ‘modern woman’, a female who favoured urban living, freedom and equality over marriage and child rearing.

The 1930s also saw the idea of the ‘Australian body’, a tanned, muscular archetype shaped by sand and surf, come to the fore of the Australian identity. Artists who engaged with this idea, including Max Dupain, Charles Meere and Olive Cotton, will be presented in Brave New World. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated, 212-page hardback publication, featuring essays by leading writers on each of the exhibition themes. A series of public programs will also be offered including a major symposium, an Art Deco walking tour of Melbourne and a dance performance, recreating Demon machine (1924) by the Bodenweiser company that toured Australia in the late 1930s as well as an original solo by the choreographer, Carol Brown (NZ).

Press release from the NGV

 

Nanette Kuehn (Germany 1911-Australia 1980, Australia from 1937) 'Borislav Runanine and Tamara Grigorieva in Jeux D'Enfants, original Ballets Russes, Australian tour' 1939-40

 

Nanette Kuehn (Germany 1911 – Australia 1980, Australia from 1937)
Borislav Runanine and Tamara Grigorieva in Jeux D’Enfants, original Ballets Russes, Australian tour
1939-1940
Gelatin silver photograph
Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre, Melbourne
The Australian Ballet Collection. Gift of The Australian Ballet, 1998

 

 

The expressive body: dance in Australia

If modern art encapsulated the ideals and conflicting forces of the early twentieth century, then modern dance embodied its restless vitality and the quest for a different kind of subjectivity and expression. To many, modern dance is the pivotal art form for a mid twentieth century concerned with plasticity, the expressive body and tensions between the individual and its collective formation.

The decade of the 1930s is framed by the 1928-1929 tour of Anna Pavlova’s dance company and the three tours of the remnant Ballets Russes companies (1936-1937, 1938-1939,1939-1940) that excited many aspiring modernist artists. These tours sowed the seeds for subsequent ballet narratives in Australia, because the eruption of war in 1939 meant that Ballets Russes dancers, including Helene Kirsova and Edouard Borovansky, stayed in the country and established ballet companies. While trained in Russian dance technique, these artists were also influenced by the aesthetics of change in European art and dance that included new bodily techniques, dynamic movement patterns and modern technologies. It was the individual dancers of modern dance, however, including Louise Lightfoot and Sonia Revid, who produced the expressive intensity of a more autonomous art of movement.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation views of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA featuring a wall print of Sonia Revid dancing on Brighton beach c. 1935 by an unknown Australian photographer
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Australia, Unknown photographer. 'Sonia Revid dancing on Brighton beach' c. 1935

 

Australia, Unknown photographer
Sonia Revid dancing on Brighton beach
c. 1935
Courtesy of State Library Victoria, Melbourne

 

 

Sonia Revid was one of the leading proponents of modern interpretative dance in Melbourne. Born in Latvia, she studied with the great dancer Mary Wigman in Germany before coming to Australia in 1932. Revid is credited with introducing the ‘German Dance’ to Australian audiences, and in the mid 1930s established the Sonia Revid School of Art and Body Culture in Collins Street. She composed her own dances, one of the best known being Bushfire drama (1940), based on the 1939 Victoria Bushfires.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Ballet (Emmy Towsey and Evelyn Ippen, Bodenwieser Dancers performing Waterlilies)' 1937, printed (c. 1939)

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Ballet (Emmy Towsey and Evelyn Ippen, Bodenwieser Dancers performing Waterlilies)
1937, printed (c. 1939)
Gelatin silver photograph
44.5 x 33.5cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2003

 

Jack Cato (Australia 1889-1971, England 1909-14, South Africa 1914-20) 'Helene Kirsova and Igor Youskevitch in Les Presages, Monte Carlo Russian Ballet' 1936-37

 

Jack Cato (Australia 1889-1971, England 1909-1914, South Africa 1914-1920)
Helene Kirsova and Igor Youskevitch in Les Presages, Monte Carlo Russian Ballet
1936-1937
Gelatin silver photograph
24.8 x 19.4cm
Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre, Melbourne
The Australian Ballet Collection
Gift of The Australian Ballet, 1998

 

 

Choreographed by Léonide Massine in 1933, Les Presages (Destiny) was a popular and avant-garde work during the Ballets Russes tours to Australia in 1936-1937. It was one of the first contemporary ballets to be choreographed to an existing musical score, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Portrayed in this picture are two principal dancers from the Monte Carlo Ballets Russes: Hélène Kirsova, who remained in Australia and formed her own ballet company in Sydney in the early 1940s, and Igor Youskevitch, who became a leading American ballet dancer, appearing here in the role of the Hero.

 

Evelyn Ippen designer and maker active in Australia 1930s 'Dress for Slavonic Dances' 1939

 

Evelyn Ippen designer and maker active in Australia 1930s
Dress for Slavonic Dances
1939
Cotton, silk (velvet) (appliqué), elastic, metal (zip) for a production of the Bodenwieser Ballet, choreographed by Gertrud Bodenwieser
Performing Arts Collection, Arts Centre, Melbourne
Bodenwieser Collection. Gift of Barbara Cuckson, 2000

 

 

The Slavonic Dances were choreographed by Gertrud Bodenwieser to represent what she described as the ‘vigour and passionate feelings of the Slavonic people’, and toured with her first company in Australia in 1939. Loosely using folk-dance motifs, this ensemble work would have been a stylish crowd-pleaser in contrast to more serious dances. The appliqué and colourful flower motifs on this dress are similar to designs by Natalia Goncharova for the Ballets Russes, although the simplified appeal of its ‘red bodice, long, swirling skirt, and gathered white sleeves’ were probably designed by one of the company dancers, Evelyn Ippen.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Tamara Tchinarova in Presages' 1937

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Tamara Tchinarova in Presages
Published in Art in Australia, February 15, 1937
National Gallery of Victoria
Melbourne Shaw Research Library

 

 

Australia Tunes Into The World

These radios comprise a selection of Australian designed and manufactured tabletop models from the 1930s at a time when this new method of communication became an integral part of every home. They reflect the rapid spread of the streamlined style to Australia from the United States, England and Europe, where industrial designers applied machine-age styling to everyday household appliances. The use of new synthetic plastics (Bakelite) and mass production helped to make radios affordable for ordinary people, even in the depths of the Depression, and radio transmission brought the world into every Australian home. As cheap alternatives to the expensive wooden console in the lounge room, these small, portable radios allowed individual family members to listen to serials, quizzes and popular music in other rooms such as the kitchen, bedroom and verandah, as well as in the workplace.

Radios of the 1930s are now appreciated as quintessential examples of Art Deco styling, and one of the first expressions of art meeting industry. These colourful and elegant radio sets were one of the first pieces of modern styling in the Australian home. They were also a symbol of modern technology and a new future.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Australian Art Deco radios from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Airzone (1931) Ltd, Sydney (manufacturer) 'Mullard' 1938

 

Airzone (1931) Ltd, Sydney (manufacturer)
Mullard (white)
1938
Collection of Peter Sheridan and Jan Hatch

Airzone (1931) Ltd, Sydney (manufacturer)
Mullard (speckled green)
1938
Collection of Peter Sheridan and Jan Hatch

Airzone (1931) Ltd, Sydney (manufacturer)
Mullard (black)
1938
Collection of Peter Sheridan and Jan Hatch
Photo © Peter Sheridan

 

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd., Sydney (manufacturer) est. 1913 'AWA 'Egg crate' (various colours)' 1938

 

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd., Sydney (manufacturer) est. 1913
AWA ‘Egg crate’ (various colours)
1938
Bakelite
21.0 x 33.0 x 19.0cm (each)
Collection of Peter Sheridan and Jan Hatch
Photo © Peter Sheridan

 

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd., Sydney (manufacturer) est. 1913 'AWA Radiolette 'Empire State' and cigarette box (green)' 1934

 

Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd., Sydney (manufacturer) est. 1913
AWA Radiolette ‘Empire State’ and cigarette box (green)
1934
Bakelite
(a) 28.0 x 27.0 x 15.0cm (radio) (b) 8.0 x 8.0 x 4.5cm (cigarette box)
Collection of Peter Sheridan and Jan Hatch
Photo © Peter Sheridan

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation views of Australian Art Deco radios from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

 

Sun and surf

The beach was a complex location in the Australian creative imagination. It was a democratic site in which the trappings of wealth and position were abandoned as people stripped down to their bathers. It was a place of hedonistic pleasures that offered sensuous engagement with sun and surf, and a primitive landscape where natural forces restored the bodies of those depleted by modern life. It was a playground for the tourist that was considered distinctively Australian. As war loomed again in the late 1930s, it was also a pseudo-militaristic zone in which the lifesaver was honed for ‘battle’ in the surf.

The lifesavers that helped protect the beach-going public were regularly praised as physical exemplars who could build the eugenic stock of the nation. As the Second World War approached, the connection of these trained lifesavers to military servicemen also became painfully apparent.

Male lifesavers were used by artists in promoting Australia to tourists: a poster commemorating the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 positioned the lifesaver as the quintessential representative of Australian manhood. Douglas Annand and Arthur Whitmore’s virile lifesaver proudly gestures towards the new bridge, his muscles as strong and protective as the steel girders that span the harbour.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'On the beach. Man, woman, boy' 1938

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
On the beach. Man, woman, boy
1938
Gelatin silver photograph
39.2 x 47.2cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1982

 

 

Showing a naked family on the beach, Max Dupain’s work is a perfect illustration of social concerns of the times. As Australia moved closer to engagement in another world war, fears about the poor physical fitness of the population were debated, with a ‘national fitness’ campaign instituted by the government in 1938. Dupain’s father, George, was one of the country’s first physical educationalists, opening the Dupain Institute of Physical Education and Medical Gymnastics in 1900 and writing extensively on the subject of health and fitness. Max Dupain attended the gym and was well versed in contemporary concerns about fitness.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of 'Male lifesaver, window' and 'Female lifesaver, window' (both c. 1935)

 

Installation view of Male lifesaver, window and Female lifesaver, window (both c. 1935) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Unknown, Melbourne. 'Male lifesaver, window' c. 1935

 

Unknown, Melbourne
Male lifesaver, window
c. 1935
Stained glass, lead
47.5 x 40.8cm
Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club, Williamstown
Donated by C. J Dennis

 

 

‘On golden and milky sands, bodily excellence is displayed the year round, clearly defined by the sun in an atmosphere as viewless and benign as the air of Hellas as described by Euripides.’

J. S. Macdonald, 1931

 

Unknown, Melbourne. 'Female lifesaver, window' c. 1935

 

Unknown, Melbourne
Female lifesaver, window
c. 1935
Stained glass, lead
47.0 x 40.9cm
Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club, Williamstown
Donated by Councillor R. T. Bell

 

 

Although much was made of the ‘gods of the golden sand’, as one poet glowingly described lifesavers, lifesaving clubs were not entirely male in membership. Women lifesavers also made their mark, albeit in more limited numbers and with much less recognition. At the Williamstown Lifesaving Club in Melbourne a woman lifesaver was included in this fine and very rare stained glass window that, along with its counterpart featuring a male lifesaver, graced the newly established clubhouse around 1935.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with the male and female lifesavers (centre); Max Dupain’s The carnival at Bondi (fourth from right); Sydney Bridge celebrations (second right); and Douglas Annand and Max Dupain’s Australia (right)
Photo: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Max Dupain. 'Sunbaker' 1937

 

Max Dupain (Australian 1911-1992)
Sunbaker
(1938), dated 1937, printed c. 1975
Gelatin silver photograph
38.0 x 43.1cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with the assistance of the Visual Arts Board, 1976

 

 

Taken on a camping trip near Culburra, on the Shoalhaven River in New South Wales, in January 1938, Max Dupain’s original version of the Sunbaker was a much darker image that existed at the time only in an album gifted to his friend Chris Van Dyke. Dupain lost the original negative and printed this variant version in 1975 for an exhibition. It is an image that is now considered an icon in Australian photography, and has come to represent key values of the interest in ‘body culture’, celebrating health and fitness in the context of the beach.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'The carnival at Bondi' 1938

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
The carnival at Bondi
1938
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1982

 

 

‘The lifesaving teams … are splendid examples of the physique, resourcefulness and vitality of our youth and manhood. They are typical of the outdoor life which Australians lead and they are living testimonies to the value of surfing and the vigour and stamina of our race.’

DAILY EXAMINER, July 1935

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Manly' 1938, printed c. 1986

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Manly
1938, printed c. 1986
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased from funds donated by Hallmark Cards Australia Pty Ltd, 1987

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901-Australia 1970, Australia from 1926) 'The seaside calls - go by train - take a Kodak' 1930s

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901 – Australia 1970, Australia from 1926)
The seaside calls – go by train – take a Kodak
1930s
Colour lithograph
Printed by F. W. Niven, Melbourne
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Grant Lee

 

 

Gert Sellheim was born to German parents in Estonia, at that time part of the Russian Empire. After studying architecture in Europe he travelled to Western Australia in 1926, before settling in Melbourne in 1931, where he began working as an industrial and commercial designer. Working for the Australian National Travel Association, Sellheim created a series of posters promoting beach holidays, which incorporated Art Deco motifs and typography. His most famous design is the flying kangaroo logo for Qantas, which he created in 1947.

 

Douglas Annand (Australia 1903-76) Arthur Whitmore (Australia 1910-65) 'Sydney Bridge celebrations' 1932

 

Douglas Annand (Australia 1903-1976)
Arthur Whitmore (Australia 1910-1965)
Sydney Bridge celebrations
1932
Colour lithograph
47.6 x 63.6cm (image and sheet)
Australian National Maritime Museum Purchased, 1991
© Courtesy of the artist’s estate

 

Douglas Annand (Australia 1903-76) Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Australia' c. 1937

 

Douglas Annand (Australian, 1903-1976)
Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Australia
c. 1937
Colour and process lithograph
105.3 x 68.4cm (image and sheet)
Australian National Maritime Museum Purchased, 1991
© Courtesy of the artist’s estate

 

Douglas Annand (attributed to) (Australia 1903-76) 'Follow the sun - Australia's 150th Anniversary celebrations' 1938

 

Douglas Annand (attributed to) (Australian, 1903-1976)
Follow the sun – Australia’s 150th Anniversary celebrations
1938
Colour lithograph and photolithograph
Courtesy of Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

 

 

The 1930s were the heyday of the travel poster. Posters were commissioned by railway and tourism groups or shipping companies and airlines to promote Australian holiday destinations, both at home and overseas. The Australian National Travel Association was formed in 1929 to promote Australia to overseas markets. As part of its strategy it commissioned posters from leading graphic artists, such as Percy Trompf, James Northfield and Douglas Annand. From the late 1920s Australia began to actively promote itself to the world by using the beach, sun and surf as motifs.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation views of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with the work of John Rowell, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Gert Sellheim and Percy Trompf on the far wall, and Robert E. Coates Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World’s Fair (1939) on the projector screen at left
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

 

The Australian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair projected an image of Australia as a young and healthy nation, a place of industry, sport and tourism. Designed by John Oldham of Sydney architectural firm Stephenson & Turner, the modern design of the building was complemented by Douglas Annand’s interior displays featuring the latest graphic design, and audio-visual and photomontage techniques. These photographs of the Australian Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair were taken by commercial photographer Robert E. Coates.

 

Installation view of Robert E. Coates' 'Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World's Fair' (1939)

Installation view of Robert E. Coates' 'Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World's Fair' (1939)

Installation view of Robert E. Coates' 'Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World's Fair' (1939)

Installation view of Robert E. Coates' 'Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World's Fair' (1939)

Installation view of Robert E. Coates' 'Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World's Fair' (1939)

 

Installation views of Robert E. Coates’ Photographs of Australian Pavilion at New York World’s Fair (1939) (digital images, looped)
Photos: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Pastoral landscapes

Along with the beach, another national myth evolved around the Australian bush. Although most Australians lived in cities, in the years following the First World War the nation became increasingly informed by a mythology centred on the bush and the landscape. For those who considered the modern city a profoundly depleting force, the bush was a touchstone of traditional ‘values’. It was nostalgically conceived of as an idyllic natural realm whose soil, literally and metaphorically, sustained its people. Both the classical Pastoral ideal of a land in which only sheep and cattle roam, and the Georgic tradition, which celebrated the achievements of agriculture, became dominant themes in landscape art.

Pastoral landscapes were admired above all as representing the antithesis of ‘decadent’ modern life. As art critic and gallery director J. S. Macdonald wrote, such art would ‘point the way in which life should be lived in Australia, with the maximum of flocks and the minimum of factories’. With their emphasis on farming and pastoral industries, such works affirmed white landownership, with Indigenous people largely absent.

 

John Rowell (Australia 1894-1973) 'Blue hills' c. 1936

 

John Rowell (Australian, 1894-1973)
Blue hills
c. 1936
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1936

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901-Australia 1970, Australia from 1926) 'Spring in the Grampians' 1930s

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901 – Australia 1970, Australia from 1926)
Spring in the Grampians
1930s
Colour photolithograph
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased 2000

 

Hilda Rix Nicholas (Australia 1884-1961, Europe 1911-18) 'The fair musterer' c. 1935

 

Hilda Rix Nicholas (Australian, 1884-1961, Europe 1911-1918)
The fair musterer
c. 1935
Oil on canvas
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Purchased 1971

 

 

As a young artist Hilda Rix Nicholas had a successful career in France before returning to Australia after the First World War. In 1934, several years after the birth of her son, Rix Nicholas returned to painting and depicted her new life living on the family property Knockalong, on the Monaro Plains in New South Wales. Depicting the governess of her young son holding the reins of her horse, dog at her feet, and sheep in the distance, in The fair musterer Rix Nicholas claims for women an active role in the masculine world of pastoral Australia.

 

Hilda Rix Nicholas (Australia 1884-1961, Europe 1911-18) 'The shepherd of Knockalong' 1933

 

Hilda Rix Nicholas (Australian, 1884-1961, Europe 1911-1918)
The shepherd of Knockalong
1933
Oil on canvas
Collection of Peter Rix, Sydney
Courtesy of Deutscher & Hackett

 

 

Depicting the artist’s husband and young son, The shepherd of Knockalong is a reminder of the traditional importance of the wool industry to the nation’s economy. With his legs firmly connected to the ground and pictured as a large figure dominating the landscape setting, the farmer is the benign owner and ‘shepherd’ of the land spreading out behind him, the presence of his young son ensuring dynastic succession. At a time when Aboriginal people were confined to reservations and denied citizenship, Hilda Rix Nicholas’s painting can also be considered as an assertion of the British colonisers’ right to ownership of Australia.

 

Percy Trompf (Australia 1902-64) 'Western Australia' c. 1936

 

Percy Trompf (Australian, 1902-1964)
Western Australia
c. 1936
Colour lithograph
Courtesy of Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney

 

 

Indigenous art and culture

During the 1930s Aboriginal people were often pejoratively referred to as a ‘dying race’. The Australian Government continued to enforce a ‘divide and rule’ assimilationist policy. Determined by eugenics, this entailed removing Aboriginal people of mixed descent from their families and reserves, and absorbing them into the dominant society, with consequent loss of their own language and customary ritual practices. Increasingly during this period, Aboriginal people formed their own organisations and agitated for full citizenship rights.

This was also a decade that saw increasing awareness of, and interest in, Indigenous art. Albert Namatjira astonished Melbourne audiences at his first solo exhibition at the Athenaeum Gallery in 1938. Comprising forty-one watercolour paintings, all of his works sold within three days of the opening. The following year the Art Gallery of South Australia purchased one of Namatjira’s works. Indigenous art also inspired non-Indigenous artists, including Margaret Preston and Frances Derham who appropriated design elements in their works. The idea of ‘Aboriginalism’, in which settlers sought an Australian identity in the context of Britishness and the Empire, saw artists travelling to the outback to paint and sketch subjects they believed connected them to Indigenous history.

 

Frances Derham (Australia 1894–1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-08) Kangaroo and 'Aboriginal motifs' 1925-1940

 

Frances Derham (Australian, 1894-1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-1908)
Kangaroo and Aboriginal motifs
1925-1940
Linocut printed in brown ink on buff paper
4.6 x 7.3cm (image) 12.6 x 10.3cm (sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Richard Hodgson Derham, 1988
© Estate of Frances Derham

 

 

Best known as a progressive educator and advocate of children’s art, Frances Derham was also an active member of the Arts and Crafts Society of Victoria, and with potter Allan Lowe shared Margaret Preston’s interest in the appropriation of Indigenous art. From the mid 1920s Derham began to incorporate Aboriginal motifs into her linocuts and in 1929, synchronous with the exhibition Australian Aboriginal Art at the Museum of Victoria, Derham presented a lecture to the Arts and Crafts Society, entitled ‘The Interest of Aboriginal Art to the Modern Designer’.

 

Frances Derham (Australia 1894-1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-08) 'Kangaroo (at the zoo)' c. 1931

 

Frances Derham (Australian, 1894-1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-1908)
Kangaroo (at the zoo)
c. 1931
Linocut printed in brown ink on Chinese paper
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Richard Hodgson Derham, 1988

 

Frances Derham (Australia 1894-1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-08) 'The Aboriginal artist' 1931

 

Frances Derham (Australia 1894-1987, New Zealand and Ireland 1902-1908)
The Aboriginal artist
1931
Colour linocut on Japanese paper
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mr Richard Hodgson Derham, 1988

 

Margaret Preston (Australia 1875-1963, Germany and France 1904-07, France, England and Ireland 1912-19) 'Shoalhaven Gorge, New South Wales' 1940-1941

 

Margaret Preston (Australia 1875-1963, Germany and France 1904-1907, France, England and Ireland 1912-1919)
Shoalhaven Gorge, New South Wales
1940-1941
Oil and gouache on canvas
53.7 x 45.8cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated from the Estate of Dr Donald Wright, 2008
© Margaret Preston/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

 

 

During the 1920s Margaret Preston considered Aboriginal art a source of good design in the decoration of household items. In the 1930s her study of Aboriginal culture intensified, as she developed a greater interest in its anthropological and cosmological elements. In 1940 Preston travelled to the Northern Territory to study Aboriginal art. On her return she developed a more explicit Aboriginal style in paintings featuring earthy tones, strong black outlines and patterns of dots and lines.

 

Unknown Walamangu active (1930s) 'Dhukurra dhaawu (Sacred clan story)' c. 1935

 

Unknown
Walamangu active (1930s)
Dhukurra dhaawu (Sacred clan story)
c. 1935
Earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.), resin
128.3 x 63.9cm
The Donald Thomson Collection
Donated by Mrs Dorita Thomson to the University of Melbourne and on loan to Museums Victoria, Melbourne

 

 

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, segregation was the main government policy regarding Aboriginal people. It was re-enforced by the 1909 Aborigines Protection Act, which gave the Aborigines Protection Board the power to control where Aboriginal people lived in New South Wales. In 1937 the Commonwealth Government adopted a policy of assimilation, whereby Aboriginal people of mixed descent were henceforth to be assimilated into white society, while others were confined to reserves. In 1931 Arnhem Land was declared an Aboriginal Reserve by the government and non-Indigenous entry into the region was restricted.

 

Tjam Yilkari Katani Liyagalawumirr active 1930s 'Wagilag dhaawu (Wagilag Sisters story)' 1937

 

Tjam Yilkari Katani
Liyagalawumirr active 1930s
Wagilag dhaawu (Wagilag Sisters story) (installation view)
1937
Earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.)
The Donald Thomson Collection Donated by Mrs Dorita Thomson to the University of Melbourne and on loan to Museums Victoria, Melbourne
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

For Yolgnu people, painting on bark or objects is intimately connected with painting on the body, and the Yolgnu term barrawan means both ‘skin’ and ‘bark’. These paintings are transcriptions of the sacred designs that were painted onto men’s bodies and convey the power of the Yolgnu ancestors whose actions created their world. The Wagilag Sisters Dreaming story chronicles the creative acts of the sisters as they travelled across Arnhem Land. Such stories pass on important knowledge, cultural values and belief systems to later generations.

 

Arthur Murch (Australia 1902-89, Europe 1936-40) 'Walila, Pintupi tribe' 1934

 

Arthur Murch (Australian, 1902-1989, Europe 1936-1940)
Walila, Pintupi tribe
1934
Pencil
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1934

 

 

In 1933, on the invitation of Professor H. Whitridge Davies, Sydney artist Arthur Murch accompanied a research team from Sydney University to Hermannsburg Lutheran Mission, south-west of Alice Springs. Murch remained there for six weeks painting the landscapes and making portraits of Indigenous people. These were exhibited in Sydney soon after his return.

 

Percy Leason (Australia 1888-United States 1959, United States from 1938) 'Thomas Foster' (installation view) 1934

 

Percy Leason (Australia 1888 – United States 1959, United States from 1938)
Thomas Foster (installation view)
1934
Oil on canvas
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs Isabelle Leason, 1969
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Thomas Foster was born at Coranderrk Station in 1882, the son of Edward Foster and Betsy Benfield. Foster’s was one of the last portraits painted by Leason as part of the unfortunately titled exhibition The Last of the Victorian Aborigines. These portraits were debuted on 11 September at the Athenaeum Gallery in Collins Street, Melbourne, to great public acclaim. Foster, like most of Leason’s subjects, appears shirtless, his arms folded behind his back, pushing forward his chest and clearly showing his scarification marks.

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901-Australia 1970, Australia from 1926) 'Corroboree Australia' 1934

 

Gert Sellheim (Russia (of German parents) 1901 – Australia 1970, Australia from 1926)
Corroboree Australia
1934
Colour lithograph printed by F. W. Niven, Melbourne
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of the Australian National Travel Association, 1934

 

 

Dystopian cities

Australia was hit hard by the Great Depression. The worst year was 1932, when unemployment reached nearly thirty-two per cent, and by the following year almost a third of all unemployed men had been without work for three years. With wages cut and unemployment rising, many families were left struggling to survive and this poverty was most evident in run-down, inner-city areas. Two émigrés, Danila Vassilieff and Yosl Bergner, were the first Australian artists to turn their attention to the plight of the urban poor and the disposed. Their powerful, expressive style was influential upon young artists, including Arthur Boyd and Albert Tucker.

Economic hardship fostered bitterness and political unrest, and membership of radical groups on both the left and right increased. Boundaries between political agendas and art production became porous in this decade, and many artists believed, like Bergner, ‘that by painting we would change the world’. The complex enmeshment of the creative and political became a defining feature of the decade, and art in Australia became increasingly political, with the political realm involving itself with art.

By the end of the decade the worsening political situation overseas and a sense that another world war was inevitable contributed to a growing sense of unease. Many artists expressed this anxiety and foreboding in their works.

 

Laurence Le Guay (Australia 1917-90) 'No title (War montage with globe)' c. 1939

 

Laurence Le Guay (Australian, 1917-1990)
No title (War montage with globe)
c. 1939
Gelatin silver photograph
30.4 x 24.9cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of Mrs Mem Kirby, Fellow, 2001

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Hot rhythm!' 1936

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Hot rhythm!
1936
Silver gelatin photograph
24.7 x 17.8cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
William Kimpton Bequest, 2016

 

 

In this work, Max Dupain has the shadow of a slide trombone seemingly bisect the naked body of a woman in a photograph that, in the context of his known views, is less an erotic celebration of modern jazz culture and nightlife than a comment on the disruptive nature of modernity.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Doom of youth' 1937

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Doom of youth
1937
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1982

 

 

In Doom of youth – a title taken from Wyndham Lewis’s 1932 polemical book of the same name – Max Dupain creates an allegorical photograph in which a naked male body represents his vision of modern Australia. Using symbols that suggest disempowerment, Dupain implies that the flywheel of mechanisation has doomed youth (the representatives of a nation’s future) to a bleak fate.

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Night with her train of stars and her gift of sleep' 1936-37

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Night with her train of stars and her gift of sleep
1936-1937
Gelatin silver photograph
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
William Kimpton Bequest, 2016

 

 

Referring to Edward Hughes’s 1912 Symbolist work of the same name, Max Dupain has replaced the painter’s dark-winged goddess of the night, who tries to calm the putti (or ‘stars’) that cling to her, with an updated modern version in which city lights replace starlight. The symbolism of the giant breast that towers over the electric lights of the urban landscape suggests an inversion of the natural for the man-made. The personification of night refers to the Greek goddess Nyx, a powerful force born of Chaos, and the mother of children including Sleep, Death and Pain. Given his often gloomy assessment of modernity, Dupain’s invocation of Nyx seems appropriate in the context.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation views of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Herbert Badham’s Paint and morning tea second left and Albert Tucker’s Self-portrait third from right
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Herbert Badham (Australia 1899-1961) 'Paint and morning tea' 1937

 

Herbert Badham (Australian, 1899-1961)
Paint and morning tea
1937
Oil on cardboard
75.6 x 71.5cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1937
© The Estate of Herbert Badham

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Albert Tucker’s Self-portrait (1937) at left
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of Albert Tucker's 'Self-portrait' from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Albert Tucker’s Self-portrait (1937) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

In the late 1930s Albert Tucker’s contact with émigré artists Yosl Bergner and Danila Vassilieff was to provide important encouragement for him to pursue his artistic vocation and to make art that was responsive to the issues of his time. In 1938 Tucker was a founding member of the Contemporary Art Society, and he became one of the most articulate voices in the often bitter debates between modernists and conservatives. In the 1940s, together with his partner Joy Hester, Tucker was a key member of the group of artists and writers that formed around John and Sunday Reed at Heide.

From 1936 until the early 1940s Albert Tucker chronicled himself with numerous painted and drawn self-portraits. In these works we witness a harrowing disintegration of his physical self, which mirrored the artist’s overwrought emotional state. He recalled: ‘It was a period when the whole world, and all the people I knew, seemed to be seething with ideas and energies and experiences; and my own mind was a seething mess … The highly emotional, overwrought expressionist paintings suited my state at the time’.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with work by Danila Vassilieff on the centre black wall including Street scene with graffiti (left), Truth, Woolloomooloo (second left) and Young girl (Shirley) the large painting at right; and F. Oswald Barnett’s photographs of Melbourne slums in the display cabinet
Photos: Courtesy NGV Photographic Services

 

Danila Vassilieff (Russia 1897-Australia 1958, Australia from 1923, Central and South America, Europe, England 1929-34) 'Street scene with graffiti' 1938

 

Installation view of Danila Vassilieff ‘s Street scene with graffiti (1938) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Danila Vassilieff (Russia 1897-Australia 1958, Australia from 1923, Central and South America, Europe, England 1929-34) 'Truth, Woolloomooloo' 1936

 

Danila Vassilieff (Russia 1897 – Australia 1958, Australia from 1923, Central and South America, Europe, England 1929-1934)
Truth, Woolloomooloo
1936
Oil on canvas
Private collection

 

 

It is notable that the first artists to depict the poverty of inner-city slums were two recently arrived émigrés, Danila Vassilieff and Yosl Bergner. Russian-born Vassilieff, who had fought with the white Russian army, first arrived in Australia in 1923 before leaving again in 1929. On his return in 1935 he painted a series of dark streetscapes, depicting the inner suburban areas of Woolloomooloo and Surry Hills in Sydney. Moving to Melbourne, Vassilieff’s expressionist style influenced many young artists, including Lina Bryans, Albert Tucker, Arthur Boyd and Sidney Nolan.

 

Danila Vassilieff (Russia 1897-Australia 1958, Australia from 1923, Central and South America, Europe, England 1929-34) 'Young girl (Shirley)' 1937

 

Danila Vassilieff (Russia 1897 – Australia 1958, Australia from 1923, Central and South America, Europe, England 1929-1934)
Young girl (Shirley)
1937
Oil on canvas on composition board
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Gallery Society of Victoria Century Fund, 1984

 

F. Oswald Barnett. 'Fitzroy. View from the Brotherhood of St Lawrence'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'Fitzroy. Rear view of house'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'North Melbourne. Group of children in Erskine Place'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'West Melbourne. A Dudley Mansion'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'Carlton. Wash-house and bath-room 48 Palmerston Street'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'North Melbourne. No. 19 Byron Street'

F. Oswald Barnett. 'West Melbourne rubbish tip'

 

F. Oswald Barnett (Australian, 1883-1972)

Fitzroy. View from the Brotherhood of St Lawrence
Fitzroy. Rear view of house
North Melbourne. Group of children in Erskine Place
West Melbourne. A Dudley Mansion
Carlton. Wash-house and bath-room, 48 Palmerston Street
North Melbourne. No. 19 Byron Street
West Melbourne rubbish tip

c. 1930 – c. 1935
Gelatin silver photograph and typewriting on card
State Library Victoria, Melbourne
F. Oswald Barnett Collection
Gift of Department of Human Services, Victoria 2001

 

 

One of the most visible and lasting effects of the Great Depression was the housing crisis in the poor working class areas of Melbourne and Sydney. Many of the nineteenth-century houses had fallen into disrepair, overcrowding was endemic and a great number of families lived in squalid and unhealthy conditions. Throughout the decade ‘slum’ abolition movements in Melbourne and Sydney ran public campaigns to place public housing on the political agenda, leading to the creation of the first state Housing Commissions.

In Melbourne, Methodist layman F. Oswald Barnett led a campaign calling for slum demolition and the rehousing of residents in government-financed housing. He took hundreds of photographs that were used in public lectures and to illustrate the 1937 report of the Housing Investigation and Slum Abolition Board. This led to the creation of the Housing Commission of Victoria in 1938, with its first major project being the Garden City estate at Fishermans Bend. In Sydney a similar campaign led to the Housing Improvement Act of 1936 and the construction of the first fifty-six home units at Erskineville. (NGV)

The photographs in the F. Oswald Barnett Collection were taken by Barnett and other unidentified photographers in the 1930s. Many of them were used to illustrate a government report on slum housing and/or made into lantern slides for lectures in a public campaign.  F. Oswald Barnett was born in Brunswick, Victoria. A committed Methodist and housing reformer, he led a crusade against Melbourne’s inner city slums. In 1936 he was appointed to the Slum Abolition Board and from 1938-1948 he was the vice-chair of the Housing Commission. In this position he attempted to shape compassionate public housing policy. He later protested vigorously against proposed high-rise housing (Monash Biographical Dictionary of 20th century Australia).

 

 

Scenes from Melbourne during the depression (extract)
c. 1935
Black and white film transferred to media player
1 min. 51 sec. silent (looped)
Courtesy of National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Canberra
Video: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

While there is an abundance of newspaper and documentary photographs which document the 1930s shanty towns, slums, relief and charity works, there is very little moving image recordings available. Instead, the moving image medium at the time was primarily focused on providing entertainment that would allow the audience temporary relief from the Depression. This rare footage depicts slum areas of inner Melbourne, and provides great insight into the horrible living conditions that many Australian families experienced.

 

Ola Cohn (Australia 1892-1964, England 1926-30) 'The sundowner' 1932

 

Ola Cohn (Australian, 1892-1964, England 1926-1930)
The sundowner
1932
Painted plaster
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Jack and Zena Cohn, 2016

 

 

Ola Cohn studied sculpture with Henry Moore at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1920s. She returned to Melbourne in 1930, where the following year her solo exhibition established her as a leading proponent of modern sculpture. During the Depression the sight of ‘swagmen’ or ‘sundowners’ became commonplace as unemployed men travelled across the country in order to find work. In 1932 Cohn submitted this maquette of a sundowner to a competition for a full-scale sculpture to be erected in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne: unsurprisingly it was not chosen as the winning entry.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Bernard Smith’s The advance of Lot and his Brethren at centre and Albert Tucker’s The futile city at right
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of Bernard Smith's 'The advance of Lot and his Brethren' from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Bernard Smith’s The advance of Lot and his Brethren from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Bernard Smith (Australia 1916-2011, England and Europe 1948-51) 'The advance of Lot and his Brethren' 1940

 

Bernard Smith (Australian, 1916-2011, England and Europe 1948-1951)
The advance of Lot and his Brethren
1940
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gift of the artist, 2008

 

 

In the early 1930s, artists depicted the city as a modern utopia, a place of triumphant progress and aspiration later in the decades, a new radical iconography of the city as a place of moral decay and corruption appeared. Painted at the start of the Second World War, Lot and his brethren expresses Bernard Smith’s despair at the conflagration that the world had been plunged into. Based on the biblical story of Lot, who fled from God’s destruction of Sodom, Smith depicts Karl Marx as the saviour who leads his people from the burning city.

 

Albert Tucker (Australia 1914-99, Europe and United States 1947-60) 'The futile city' 1940

 

Albert Tucker (Australian, 1914-99, Europe and United States 1947-1960)
The futile city
1940
Oil on cardboard
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen, Melbourne
Purchased from John and Sunday Reed, 1980

 

 

At the start of the Second World War Surrealism was an important influence upon Albert Tucker, as were the writings of T. S. Eliot. The futile city was inspired by Eliot’s epic poem The Waste Land (1922): ‘I came on T. S. Eliot, and instantly I recognised a twin soul because here was horror, outrage, despair, futility, and all the images that went with them. He confirmed my own feelings and also became a source … because of the images that would involuntarily form while I was reading the poetry’.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Yosl Bergner’s Citizen (c. 1940) at left
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of Yosl Bergner's 'Citizen' from the exhibition 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Yosl Bergner’s Citizen (c. 1940) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Yosl Bergner was one of approximately 7000-8000 Jewish people, mainly from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, who arrived in Australia between 1933 and 1939 fleeing Nazi persecution. This number included many artists, musicians, architects, writers and intellectuals who were to contribute greatly to Australia’s cultural life. However, government policy remained opposed to large-scale intake of Jewish refugees, and some were met with anti-Semitic sentiments upon their arrival.

 

Yvonne Atkinson (Australia 1918-99) 'The tram stop' 1937

 

Installation view of Yvonne Atkinson The tram stop (1937) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Max Dupain (Australia 1911-92) 'Brave New World' 1938

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
Brave New World
1938
Gelatin silver photograph
29.0 x 20.0cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
William Kimpton Bequest, 2017

 

 

In 1935 Max Dupain referred to Aldous Huxley’s book Brave New World (1932) in his photograph of a woman trapped by technology. Dupain was attracted to this biting satire on the ethical dilemmas of social engineering because it appeared to endorse his own fervently held ideas of how modernity was affecting the individual and national body. At the time his choice to directly reference this book was surprisingly provocative: Brave New World had been banned by the Australian customs department, with existing copies rounded up and burned. Dupain returned again to the theme in 1938, producing this variant version.

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA with Max Dupain’s Brave New World (wall print) at centre rear with Sideboard and Chest of drawers at right
Photo: Eugene Hyland

 

Installation view of 'Brave New World: Australia 1930s' at NGVA

 

Installation view of Sideboard and Chest of drawers from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Eugene Hyland

Unknown, Australia
Sideboard
1920s-1940s
Painted wood, wood, tin
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013

Unknown, Australia
Chest of drawers
1920s-1940s
Painted wood, wood, tin
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013

 

Unknown, Australia. 'Sideboard' 1920s-40s

 

Unknown, Australia
Sideboard
1920s-1940s
Painted wood, wood, tin
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013

 

Unknown, Australia. 'Chest of drawers' 1920s-40s

 

Unknown, Australia
Chest of drawers
1920s-1940s
Painted wood, wood, tin
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013

 

 

Working-class people were the most affected by the high levels of unemployment during the Depression. By 1932 more than 60,000 men, women and children were dependent on the susso, a state-based sustenance payment that enabled families to buy only the bare minimum of food. Many families unable to pay their rent were evicted from their homes. For those suffering economic hardship, ‘making do’ became a way of life, and furniture would be constructed from found items such as kerosene tins and packing crates.

 

J. M. Harcourt (writer) John Long (publisher) 'Upsurge' 1934

 

J. M. Harcourt (writer)
John Long (publisher)
Upsurge
1934
London, March 1934
State Library Victoria, Melbourne

 

 

Censorship of books was vigorously pursued by federal and state governments during the 1930s. Australia was one of only two countries in the world to ban Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World when it was first published in 1932. Australian author J. M. Harcourt’s novel Upsurge (1934) was the first book to be banned following a recommendation by the newly established Book Censorship Board in 1934. Portraying the lives of Western Australia’s working class during the Depression, it was described by one customs official as ‘thinly disguised propaganda on behalf of Communism and social revolution’.

 

Activism

During the 1930s a small number of artists became active in the militant working-class struggle through their involvement in social and cultural organisations affiliated with the Communist Party, such as the Friends of the Soviet Union, the Workers’ Art Club and the Workers’ Theatre Group, which were formed in Sydney, Melbourne and other metropolitan centres. A number of these artists were also involved with a variety of mostly short-lived radical magazines, helping with their production, as well as providing covers and illustrations. Linocuts were a preferred medium for these artists, as the materials were inexpensive and the images reproduced well.

 

Jack Maughan illustrator (Australia 1897-1980) 'Masses' 1932

 

Jack Maughan illustrator (Australia 1897-1980)
Masses
Cover illustration for Masses, vol. 1, no. 1, printed by Bright Printing Services, published by the Workers’ Art Club, Melbourne, November 1932
1932
Linocut printed in red and black ink
State Library Victoria, Melbourne

 

Installation view of Herbert McClintock's cover illustration for 'Strife', vol. 1, no. 1

 

Installation view of Herbert McClintock’s cover illustration for Strife, vol. 1, no. 1 (1930) from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

Edited by eighteen-year-old communist Judah Waten, with Herbert McClintock as art editor, Strife declared itself ‘an organ of the new culture, destructive and constructive’. The first issue was due for release in October 1930; however, a blasphemous poem by Brian Fitzpatrick published in the magazine prompted a police raid on the Strife office and the editor’s hasty destruction of (most) copies of the issue.

 

Installation view of cover illustration for 'Proletariat', vol. 2, no. 1 (1933) by an unknown illustrator

 

Installation view of cover illustration for Proletariat, vol. 2, no. 1 (1933) by an unknown illustrator from the exhibition Brave New World: Australia 1930s at NGVA
Photo: Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

 

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Federation Square
Corner of Russell and 
Flinders Streets, Melbourne

Opening hours:
Open daily 10am – 5pm

National Gallery of Victoria website

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21
Feb
16

Review: ‘On the beach’ at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery, Mornington

Exhibition dates: 11th December 2015 – 28th February 2016

Curator: Wendy Garden

 

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

This is another solid thematic group exhibition at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery (curator Wendy Garden), following on from their recent success, Storm in a teacup.

The exhibition is not as successful as Storm in a teacup, mainly because most of the works are based on the monolithic, monosyllabic representation of beach culture, and its figuration, during the early decades of the twentieth century (White Australia policy, Australian stereotypes of the interwar period) and the re-staging of these ideas in the contemporary art presented through a diachronic (through/time), performative discourse.

There is so much re-staging in this exhibition I was left to wonder whether there was any original art work being produced that does not quote sources of history, memory, identity, representation and art from past generations. Daniel Boyd re-stages Captain Cook’s landing at Botany Bay with said hero as a pirate. Stephen Bowers replicates the Minton willow pattern motif and early paintings of kangaroos. Leanne Tobin re-stages Bungaree’s disrobing on the beach during his journey with Matthew Flinders. Diane Jones re-stages Max Dupain’s Sunbaker replacing the anonymous prostrate man with her head looking into the camera, or Dupain’s Form at Bondi with her head turned towards the camera. Worst offender is Anne Zahalka who re-states Dupain’s Sunbaker (again!) as a red-headed white women on the beach; or re-presents Charles Meere’s Australian beach pattern (1940, below) not once but twice – the first time in The bathers (1989) broadening the racial background of people to depict multicultural Australia in the 1980s, the second time in The new bathers (2013) broadening the mix even further. Most successful of these re-stagings is Michael Cook’s series of photographs Undiscovered in which the artist subverts deeply ingrained understandings of settlement, that of terra nullius, by depicting Captain Cook as black and positioning him in high-key, grey photographs of impressive beauty and power, surveying the land he has ‘discovered’ while perched upon an invisibly balanced ladder.

But with all of the works that quote from the past there is a sense that, even as the artists are critiquing the culture, they are also buying into the system of patriarchy, racism and control that they seek to comment on. They do not subvert the situation, merely (and locally) extrapolate from it. The idealised, iconic representation of early 20th century Australia culture in the paintings from the 1920-30s and the photographs from the 1940s-70s – specimens of perfect physical beauty – are simply shifted to a new demographic – that of iconic, individual figures in the same poses as the 1940s but of a different ethnicity. The colour of the figure and the clothing might have changed, but the underlying structure remains the same. And if you disturb one of the foundation elements, such as the base figure in one of George Caddy’s balancing beachobatics photographs, the whole rotten edifice of a racism free, multicultural Australia will come tumbling down, just as it did during the Cronulla Riot.

What I would have liked to have seen in this exhibition was a greater breadth of subject matter. Where are the homeless people living near the beach, the sex (for example, as portrayed in Tracey Moffat’s voyeuristic home video Heaven which shows footage of male surfers changing out of their wetsuits in car parks – “shot by Moffatt and a number of other women as if they were making a birdwatching documentary” – which challenges the masculinity of Australian surf culture and the ability of women to stare at men, instead of the other way around), death (drownings on beaches, the heartbreak of loss), and debauchery (the fluxus of Schoolies, that Neo-Dada performance of noise and movement), the abstract nature of Pictorialist photographs of the beach, not to mention erosion and environmental loss due to global warming. The works presented seem to have a too narrowly defined conceptual base, and a present narrative constructed on a coterie of earlier works representing what it is to be Australian at the beach. The contemporary narrative does not address the fluidity of the landscape in present time (in works such as Narelle Autio’s series Watercolours or The place in between).

The dark underside of the beach, its abstract fluidity, its constant movement is least well represented in this exhibition. Although I felt engaged as a viewer the constant re-quoting and rehashing of familiar forms left me a little bored. I wanted more inventiveness, more insight into the conditions and phenomena of beach culture in contemporary Australia. An interesting exhibition but an opportunity missed.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery for allowing me to publish most of the photographs in the posting. Other photographs come from Art Blart’s archive and those freely available online. Thankx also go to Manuela Furci, Director of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive for allowing me to publish his photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All text comes from the wall labels to the exhibition. Images noted © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery.

 

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with Daniel Boyd’s We call them pirates out here (2006, below)
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Daniel Boyd (b. 1982) 'We call them pirates out here' 2006

 

Daniel Boyd (Australian, b. 1982)
We call them pirates out here (installation view)
2006
Museum of Contemporary Art
Purchased with funds provided by the Coe and Mordant families, 2006
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

“The landing of Captain Cook in Botany Bay, 1770 by E. Phillips Fox is such an iconic and important image relating to the birth of Australia. Shifting the proposed view of Fox’s painting to something that was an indigenous person’s perspective allowed for me to challenge the subjective history that has been created.” ~ Daniel Boyd, 2008

.
In this painting Daniel Boyd parodies E. Phillips Fox’s celebrated painting which was commissioned in 1902 by the Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria to commemorate federation. No longer an image valorising colonial achievement, Boyd recasts the scene as one of theft and invasion. Captain Cook is depicted as a pirate to contest his heroic status in Australia’s foundation narratives. Smoke in the distance is evidence of human occupation and is a direct retort to the declaration that Australia was ‘terra nullius’ – land belonging to no-one, which was used to justify British possession.

 

Stephen Bowers (b. 1952) Peter Walker (board maker) (b. 1961) 'Antipodean willow surfboard' 2012 'Antipodean willow surfboard (Mini Simmons)' 2012

 

Stephen Bowers (Australian, b. 1952)
Peter Walker (board maker) (Australian, b. 1961)
Antipodean willow surfboard (installation view)
2012
Antipodean willow surfboard (Mini Simmons) (installation view)
2012
Hollow core surfboard, Paulownia wood, fibreglass, synthetic polymer paint
Courtesy of the artist and Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Caulfield
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Stephen Bowers (b. 1952) Peter Walker (board maker) (b. 1961) 'Antipodean willow surfboard (Mini Simmons)' (detail) 2012

 

Stephen Bowers (Australian, b. 1952)
Peter Walker (board maker) (Australian, b. 1961)
Antipodean willow surfboard (Mini Simmons) (installation detail)
2012
Hollow core surfboard, Paulownia wood, fibreglass, synthetic polymer paint
Courtesy of the artist and Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Caulfield
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

In these works Bowers combines the willow pattern motif, a ready-made metaphor of hybridity, with an image of a kangaroo as envisioned by George Stubbs in 1772. The willow pattern as an English invention, created by Thomas Minton in 1790. It is an imaginative geography and, like the first known European painting of a kangaroo, considers other lands as strange, exotic places. In this work the imagery of colonial occupation is visualised as a fusion of cultures underpinned by half-truths, fantasy and desire.

 

Installation view of Leanne Tobin's 'Clothes don't always maketh the man' (2012) (detail)

Installation view of Leanne Tobin's 'Clothes don't always maketh the man' (2012) (detail)

 

Installation views of Leanne Tobin’s Clothes don’t always maketh the man (2012)

 

Leanne Tobin (Australian, b. 1961)
Clothes don’t always maketh the man (installation details)
2012
Sand, textile, wood
Collection of the artist
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

Bungaree (c. 1755-1830) was a Garigal man who circumnavigated the continent of Australia with Matthew Flinders on the H.M.S. Investigator between 1802-03. Unlike Bennelong, who attempted to assimilate with British ways and Pemulwuy, who resisted, Bungaree made the decision to navigate a relationship with the British while still maintaining his cultural traditions. He played an important role as an envoy on Flinder’s voyages, negotiating with the different Aboriginal groups they encountered. A skilled mediator, Bungaree was adept at living between both worlds. When coming ashore he would shed his white man’s clothes so that he could conduct protocol relevant to the local elders. In this respect the beach became a zone of transformation and exchange.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation views of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with in the foreground, Leanne Tobin’s Clothes don’t always maketh the man (2012), and in the background photographs from Michael Cook’s Undiscovered series (2010, below)
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Michael Cook (b. 1968) 'Undiscovered 4' 2010

 

Michael Cook (Australian, b. 1968)
Undiscovered 4
2010
inkjet print on Hahnemuhle paper
124.0 x 100.0cm
Australian National Maritime Museum

 

 

A selection of works from a series of ten photographs in which Michael Cook contests the idea of ‘discovery’ that underpins narratives of the British settlement of Australia… Cook depicts the historic Cook as an Aboriginal man replete in his British naval officers attire. His ship, the famed Endeavour, is anchored in the sea behind him. By mimicking the moment of first discovery Cook subverts deeply ingrained understandings of settlement and asks us to consider what type of national Australia would be if the British had acknowledged Aboriginal people’s prior ownership.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery showing, at top left, Max Dupain’s Form at Bondi (1939); to the right of that Dupain’s At Newport (1952, below); to the right upper is George Caddy’s Chest strength and breathing exercise, 20 February 1937 (below); followed at far right by Rennie Ellis’ St Kilda Lifesavers (1968, top) and David Moore’s Lifesavers at Manly (1959, bottom)
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Max Dupain. 'At Newport' 1952, Sydney

 

Max Dupain (Australian, 1911-1992)
At Newport
1952, Sydney
Silver gelatin photograph

 

George Caddy (1914-1983) 'Chest strength and breathing exercise, 20 February 1937' 1937

 

George Caddy (Australian, 1914-1983)
Chest strength and breathing exercise, 20 February 1937
1937
Digital print on paper
Paul Caddy collection
Courtesy of Paul Caddy

 

 

Like Max Dupain, who was three years his senior, Caddy was interested in the new modernist approach to photography. During 1936 he read magazines such as Popular Photography from New York and US Camera rather than Australasian Photo-Review which continued to champion soft-focus pictorialism. This photograph was taken the same year as Dupain’s famous Sunbather photograph. The framing and angle is similar reflecting their common interest in sharp focus, unusual vantage points and cold composition.

 

George Caddy (1914-1983) 'Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club reel team march past, 3 April 1938' 1938

 

George Caddy (Australian, 1914-1983)
Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club reel team march past, 3 April 1938
1938
Digital print
Collection of the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Purchased from Paul Caddy, 2008

 

 

This photograph was taken only months after an infamous rescue at Bondi. On 6 February 1938 a sand bar collapsed sweeping two hundred people out to sea. 80 lifesavers rescued all but 5 people in a day subsequently described as Black Sunday. By 1938 the Surf Life Saving Association, which incorporated clubs from around Australia, had rescued 39,149 lives in its 30 year history. In 1938 alone there were 3,442 rescues. Up until the events of Black Sunday no one had drowned while lifesavers were on duty at Australian beaches. In comparison 2,000 people drowned in England each year.1

  1. Alan Davies, Bondi Jitterbug: George Caddy and his amera, Sydney: State Library of New South Wales, p. 13.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, at far left, Anne Zahalka’s The sunbather #2 (1989, below) and, at right, a selection of George Caddy’s beachobatics photographs.
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, at far left, Max Dupain’s Sunbaker (1937, top) with Diane Jones Sunbaker (2003, below); in the centre Anne Zahalka’s The sunbather #2 (1989, below); then Max Dupain’s Form at Bondi (1939, top) with Diane Jones Bondi (2003) underneath.
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Anne Zahalka. 'The sunbather #2' 1989

 

Anne Zahalka (Australian, b. 1957)
The sunbather #2
1989
From the series Bondi: playground of the Pacific 1989
Type C photograph

 

Installation photograph of Charles Meere's 'Australian beach pattern' (1940, below) and Anne Zahalka's 'The bathers' (1989)

 

Installation photograph of Charles Meere’s painting Australian beach pattern (1940, below) and Anne Zahalka’s photograph The bathers (1989) from the series Bondi: playground of the Pacific 1989, in which Zahalka restates Charles Meere’s painting to subvert the narrow stereotype of the Australian ideal… In this work Zahalka broadens the racial background of people depicted to create a more representative image of multicultural Australia in the 1980s.
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Charles Meere (1890-1961) 'Australian beach pattern' 1940 (detail)

 

Charles Meere (Australian born England, 1890-1961)
Australian beach pattern (installation detail)
1940
Oil and wax on canvas
Collection of Joy Chambers-Grundy and Reg Grundy AC OBE
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

A now iconic representation of early 20th century Australia culture… The scene is dominated by a mass of suntanned bodies: muscular, square-jawed white Australians – specimens of perfect physical beauty – enjoying the strenuous physical activities of the beach. A glorification of the strong, healthy, racially pure Australian ideal of the 1930s, it is eerily reminiscent of Nazi German Aryan propaganda between the wars.

Notably, the figures themselves all appear anonymous and disconnected, with indistinct facial features that show no acknowledgement of their fellow beach-goers. Their identities are overwhelmed by Meere’s obsession with arrangement. Rather than reflect real life, the figures are placed to create an idealised work of perfect balance. It is fascinating to consider that this iconic representation of Australian beach culture actually came from the imagination of an Englishman, who had only lived in Australia since the mid-1930s and who, according to his apprentice, ‘never went to the beach’ and ‘made up most of the figures’.1

  1. Freda Robertshaw quoted in Linda Slutzkin, Charles Meere 1890-1961. Sydney: S. H. Ervin Gallery, 1987, p. 6.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, at far left, George Caddy’s beachobatic photographs, and on the far wall Sidney Nolan’s Bathers (1943, below) and Jeffrey Smart’s Surfers Bondi (1963, below).
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) 'Bathers' 1943

 

Sidney Nolan (Australian, 1917-1992)
Bathers (installation view)
1943
Ripolin enamel on canvas
Headed Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
Bequest of John and Sunday Reed, 1982
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Jeffrey Smart (1921-2013) 'Surfers Bondi' 1963

 

Jeffrey Smart (Australian, 1921-2013)
Surfers Bondi
1963
Oil on board
Private collection

 

 

When bans on daylight bathing were lifted in 1902, the beach became a prime leisure destination. The beach became not only as a public space of recreation but also as a place where the Australian identity was developing, for many epitomising the liberties of Australia’s society. On the beach brings together 76 outstanding and iconic paintings, photographs and installations to consider the defining relationship we have to the shore.

Works by artists including Vernon Ah Kee, Arthur Boyd, Gordon Bennett, Daniel Boyd, Max Dupain, Charles Meere, Tracey Moffatt, David Moore, Sidney Nolan, Polixeni Papapetrou, John Perceval, Scott Redford, Jeffrey Smart, Albert Tucker, Guan Wei and Anne Zahalka, as well as outstanding recently discovered works by George Caddy (see above). A champion jitterbug dancer, Caddy’s photographs of ‘beachobatics’ were kept undisturbed in a shoebox for 60 years until they were ‘discovered’ by his son after his death. They capture the exuberance and optimism of Australian society between the wars.

The beach first became a prime leisure destination in the early decades of the twentieth century. Up to Federation many artists had looked to the bush to galvanise a fledging nationalism, but during the interwar years this shifted and increasingly the beach became the site of Australian identity. Already by 1908 one Melbourne newspaper commented upon the ‘vast throng of holidaymakers all along the coast.’ In the years following the First World War, against a backdrop of a growing interest in physical fitness, the beach was seen as a place for creating ‘a fine healthy race of men.’ Understandings of the beach as an Australian way of life emerged during this period and increasingly the Australian type was associated with bronzed athletic bodies on the beach.

On the beach looks at artists’ responses to the stereotype of the interwar period and juxtaposes modernist works with contemporary artists’ responses to include a more culturally diverse mix of people. Other artists in the exhibition challenge understandings of the beach as a benign space and consider the history of violence that is latent.

Press release from the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Photographer Joyce Evans looking at two colour photographs by Rennie Ellis in the exhibition.
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, on the far wall left hand side, photographs by Rennie Ellis.
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, on the far wall right hand side, photographs by Rennie Ellis and, at right, Fiona Foley’s Nulla 4 eva IV (2009).
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Rennie Ellis. 'Union Jack, Lorne' c. 1968

 

Rennie Ellis (Australian, 1940-2003)
Union Jack, Lorne
c. 1968
Silver gelatin selenium toned fibre-based print
Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

 

Rennie Ellis. 'Four Sunbathers, Lorne' c. 1968

 

Rennie Ellis (Australian, 1940-2003)
Four Sunbathers, Lorne
c. 1968
Type C photograph (ed. AP)
Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

 

Rennie Ellis. 'Bondi, New South Wales' 1997

 

Rennie Ellis (Australian, 1940-2003)
Bondi, New South Wales
1997

 

“On the beach we chuck away our clothes, our status and our inhibitions and engage in rituals of sun worship and baptism. It’s a retreat to our primal needs.” ~ Rennie Ellis

 

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

Installation view of Vernon Ah Kee. 'cantchant' 2007-09 (detail)

 

Installation views of Vernon Ah Kee’s cantchant 2007-09

 

Vernon Ah Kee (Australian, b. 1967; Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidinji and Gugu Yimithirr)
cantchant (installation views)
2007-09
Synthetic polymer paint and resin over digital print on roamer, vinyl
Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

Vernon Ah Kee’s response to the events at Cronulla (the Cronulla Riot) us a powerful retort to the racists and their mantra ‘we grew here, you flew here’ chanted on the beach during the riots. Ah Kee takes issue pointing out the hypocrisy in their statement.

“We grew here, you flew here is an insincere statement and they were chanting it over and over again. It’s a way to exercise racism. I’m like ‘WE’ grew here, say what you want, but we’re the fellas that grew here.”

The surfboards are printed with Yidinji shield designs and the portraits are members of the artists family. The work was exhibited in the Australian Pavilion at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, on the far wall, Charles Blackman’s Sunbather (c. 1954, below) and Arthur Boyd’s Kite flyers [South Melbourne] (1943, below).
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Charles Blackman (b. 1928) 'Sunbather' c. 1954

 

Charles Blackman (Australian, b. 1928)
Sunbather (installation view)
c. 1954
Oil on board
Private collection, Melbourne
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

This is one of a number of paintings and drawings made in response to Blackman’s observations of life on Melbourne’s beaches. Blackman moved from Sydney to Melbourne in 1945 to be part of Melbourne’s burgeoning art scene, making friends with John Perceval, Joy Hester and John and Sunday Reed amongst others.

During this period Blackman regularly took the tram to St Kilda beach to swim and paint. Although he enjoyed spending time on the beach, there is a sinister overtone to this painting of a prostrate figure lying on the sand. A bleak, grey palette articulates the pallid lifeless flesh amplifying a sense of death. The hollow slits that substitute for eyes further accentuate the corpse-like appearance. It is a stark contrast to many paintings of the era that emphasise physical vitality and wellbeing. Rather the sense of isolation and heavy treatment of shadows and water creates a painting that is psychologically disturbing. This painting can be seen as a response to his wife, Barbara’s developing blindness. It has been noted that as the ‘darkness grew in her life, his pictures got darker.’1 Blackman stated many years later ‘I was trying to paint pictures which were unseeable.’2

  1. Barry Humphries quoted in Peter Wilmoth. “An artist in wonderland,” in The Age, 21 May 2006.
  2. Charles Blackman interviewed by James Gleeson, 28 April 1979.

 

Arthur Boyd (1920-1999) 'Kite flyers [South Melbourne]' 1943

 

Arthur Boyd (Australian, 1920-1999)
Kite flyers [South Melbourne] (installation view)
1943
Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard
46.3 x 60.9cm
National Gallery of Victoria
The Arthur Boyd Gift, 1975
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation views of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, in the centre, Brett Whiteley’s Balmoral (1975-78, below). To the left of this painting is Nancy Kilgour’s Figures on Manly Beach (1930, below) and to the right, at top, Norma Bull’s Bathing Beach (c. 1950-60s, below) with at bottom, George W. Lambert’s Anzacs bathing in the sea (1915, below).
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) 'Balmoral' 1975-78 (detail)

 

Brett Whiteley (Australian, 1939-1992)
Balmoral (installation detail)
1975-78
Oil and collage on canvas
180 x 204cm
Collection of the Hunter-Dyer family
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Nancy Kilgour (1904-1954) 'Figures on Manly Beach' c. 1930

 

Nancy Kilgour (Australian, 1904-1954)
Figures on Manly Beach
c. 1930
Oil on canvas
76 x 117cm
Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney
Purchase with the assistance of the NSW Ministry for the Arts, 1986

 

 

Nancy Kilgour’s artificial arrangement of figures is believed to have been painted in the 1930s before Charles Meere painted his highly contrived composition Australian Beach Pattern, 1940. The staged poses create a tableau of Australians enjoying the freedoms of life on the beach. What is interesting about Kilgour’s painting is that a number of people are depicted fully clothed. so the emphasis is not so much on toned physiques but rather the pleasures of relaxing on the beach. The painting is also unusual because, whereas most beach scenes are cast in brilliant sunshine, the figures in the foreground in this painting are rendered in shadow suggesting the presence of the towering Norfolk Island Pine trees which form a crescent along the Manly foreshore.

 

Norma Bull. 'Bathing Beach' c. 1950-60s

 

Norma Bull (Australian, 1906-1980)
Bathing Beach
c. 1950s-60s
Oil on aluminium
30.5 x 40cm
Collection of the Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria

 

 

Norma Bull began her career at the National Gallery School in 1929, Receiving acclaim for her portraits she won the Sir John Longstaff Scholarship in 1937 and travelled to London where she worked as a war artist during the Second World War. After nine years in Europe, Bull returned to Australia and spent the next year following Wirth’s Circus, painting acrobats, clowns and scenes from circus life. She settled in the Melbourne suburb of Surrey Hills and spent her summer holidays at Anglesea which provided the opportunity to paint seascapes and beach scenes.

 

George W. Lambert. 'Anzacs bathing in the sea' 1915

George W. Lambert. 'Anzacs bathing in the sea' 1915 (detail)

 

George W. Lambert (Australian, 1867-1930)
Anzacs bathing in the sea (installation full and detail)
1915
Oil on canvas
25 x 34cm
Mildura Arts Centre
Senator R.D. Elliott Bequest, presented to the City of Mildura by Mrs Hilda Elliott, 1956
Photos: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

 

George Lambert, Australia’s official war artist, travelled to Gallipoli where he created detailed studies of large battle scenes. He also painted a number of smaller, more intimate works which were execute rapidly on the spot such as this scene of men bathing in the sea. Lambert’s focus is the musculature of their bodies. They are depicted as exemplars of heroic Australian masculinity. Historian C.E.W. Bean reflected in the 1920s that it was through the events on Anzac Cove on 25th April 1915 ‘that the consciousness of Australian nationhood was born.’1 In this respect the painting can be seen to have baptismal overtures.

  1. C.E.W. Bean, Official history of Australia in the War of 1914-1918 Volume 2, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1934, p. 346.

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'On the beach' at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Installation view of the exhibition On the beach at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery with, second left, Anne Zahalka’s The girls #2, Cronulla Beach (2007, below). At left on the far wall John Anderson’s Abundance (2015, below) followed by John Hopkins The crowd (1970, below).
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

Anne-Zahalka-The-girls-#2-WEB

 

Anne Zahalka (Australian, b. 1957)
The girls #2, Cronulla Beach
2007
From the series Scenes from the Shire 2007
Type C photograph
73.3 x 89.2cm
Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery
Gift of the artist, 2012

 

John Anderson (b. 1947) 'Abundance' (detail) 2015

 

John Anderson (Australian, b. 1947)
Abundance (installation detail)
2015
Oil on linen
Courtesy of the artist and Australian Galleries, Melbourne and Sydney
Photo: © Marcus Bunyan and the Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery

 

John Hopkins. 'The crowd' 1970

 

John Hopkins (Australian, b. 1943)
The crowd
1970
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
172.7 x 245.2cm
Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery
Gift of the artist, 1974

 

Polixeni Papaetrou born Australia 1960 'Ocean Man' 2013

 

Polixeni Papaetrou (Australian, 1960-2018)
Ocean Man
2013
From the series The Ghillies 2012-13
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased NGV Foundation, 2013

 

 

The ghillie suit is a form of camouflage originally used by hunters and the military. Recently popularised in the video game, Call of duty, the ghillie suit is worn by Papapetrou’s son, Solomon, who poses on the beach at Queenscliff. Appearing neither man nor nature, his indistinct form speaks of transformation and becoming – of prison and absence. By depicting the figure as some sort of monster emerging from the depths of the ocean, Papapetrou creates an image that draws upon Jungian understanding of the sea as a symbol of the collective unconscious – both a source of life and return.

 

 

Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery
Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Mornington Peninsula Regional Art Gallery website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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