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Title

Mangudja, singing his moraiin song, Liverpool River Arnhem Land

1952
printed 1980


Artist

Axel Poignant

England, Australia, England

12 Dec 1906 - 05 Feb 1986


About

Though not born in Australia, Axel Poignant's work is largely about the 'Outback', its flora and fauna and the traditions of Australian and Indigenous identity. Poignant was born in Yorkshire in 1906 to a Swedish father and English mother, and arrived in Australia in 1926 seeking work and adventure. After tough early years of unemployment and homelessness, he eventually settled in Perth and found work as a portrait photographer, before taking to the road and the bush in search of new subjects. Poignant became fascinated with the photo-essay as a means of adding real humanity to the medium, and much of his work is in this form. The close relationships he developed with Aborigines on his travels are recorded in compassionate portraits of these people and their lives - the low angles and closely cropped frames appear more natural and relaxed than the stark compositions of earlier ethnographic photography.


Details


Other Title

The songman


Dates

1952
printed 1980


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


Dimensions

32.8 x 28.3 cm image; 40.6 x 35.6 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. sheet, pencil "Axel Poignant 1980". Dated l.c. sheet, pencil "...1952".


Credit

Purchased 1978


Location

Not on display


Accession number

180.1978


Artist information

Axel Poignant

Works in the collection

41


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 3 publications

Bibliography


Josef Lebovic Gallery and Helen Ennis, Masterpieces of Australian Photography, Twentieth Century Photography, Sydney, 1989, 182, 183 (illus.). cat.no. 328

Robert McFarlane, Critic's Choice, Sydney, 1994.

Gael Newton, Edmund Capon and Hal Missingham, Axel Poignant retrospective, Sydney, 1982. cat.no. 67