Sydney Easter Show
1945 - 09 Oct 2002
Ingeborg Tyssen arrived in Australia, from her native Holland, in 1957 as a 12 year old and the photographs she made throughout her career convey the sense of loss and dislocation she experienced as a young immigrant. A non-English speaking child, she found that she had to leave behind not only her language, but, as she put it in 1986 ‘the onomatopoeic nursery rhymes which initiated me, as a child, into the dark secrets of the European woods.’ Tyssen’s interest in photography emerged during travel undertaken in the 1970s, and on her return to Sydney she took a class with John F Williams. Influenced by his teaching, Tyssen began exhibiting her own photographs in 1975.
Tyssen’s work is distinguished by its particular intensity. Her earliest works were observational photographs of urban space that explored themes of isolation and dislocation. In particular she was preoccupied with sites of suburban pleasures like fun parks, pools and gardens and produced wry examinations of mundane scenes that implicate the comical and the poetic with the everyday. As critic Blair French noted in 2003, ‘the fascinating “strangeness” of vision in Tyssen's work suggests an authorial consciousness formed, in part, elsewhere and constantly seeking to rearticulate itself within a different world.’ Her oeuvre reflects on the difficulty of communication, while probing the expressive potential of photography as a site for critical engagement.
gelatin silver photograph
17.3 x 17.2 cm image; 36.8 x 30.5 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r. verso, pencil "I Tyssen". Dated l.l. verso, pencil "...1979...1980".
Not on display
© Ingeborg Tyssen, 1979. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981
Contemporary Photography from the Collection (1984), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jun 1984–12 Aug 1984
Australian vernacular photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Feb 2014–18 May 2014
Referenced in 3 publications
Gael Newtown, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Photography - Australian, European and American', pg. 67-84, Sydney, 1981, 83 (illus.). cat.no. 45
Isobel Parker Philip, Look, 'Australian vernacular photography', pg.16-17, Sydney, Mar 2014, 16.
Author Unknown, Sydney Focus, Melbourne Shift, 1981. cat.no. 66