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An image of Alice Millar, Tibooburra, NSW by David Moore

David Moore

(Australia 06 Apr 1927 – 23 Jan 2003)

Alice Millar, Tibooburra, NSW
printed 1997
Media category
Materials used
gelatin silver photograph

35.0 x 35.6 cm image; 40.4 x 50.6 cm sheet

Gift of Karen, Lisa, Matthew and Michael Moore 2004
Accession number
© Lisa, Karen, Michael and Matthew Moore
Not on display
Further information

David Moore returned to Australia in 1958 having lived in London for seven years where he worked as a photojournalist for illustrated publications such as ‘Life’, ‘Time’, ‘Fortune’ and ‘The Observer’. In Tibooburra, the hottest and most isolated place in north-western New South Wales, Moore photographed Alice Millar. A direct intimate portrait, Alice Millar smiles as she turns from the camera, possibly embarrassed by the attention, eyes momentarily shut against the bright cloudless sky. Behind her are indistinct shadows, sand, rocks and the impression of more heat generated by the reflective surfaces of corrugated iron in the mid-afternoon sun. Moore has positioned the dignified, amenable Alice Millar away from the shade which her modest dwelling could offer in such a harsh environment. The image is in keeping with American photographer Dorothea Lange’s three considerations when taking a photograph – it is not tampered with, has a sense of place as part of its surroundings and has a sense of time past or the present.1 Standing stationary, her body frontally positioned, it is the moment before Alice Millar will look towards the camera, open her eyes and speak, or perhaps turn away.

1. Davis K F 1995, ‘The photographs of Dorothea Lange’, Hallmark Cards Inc, Kansas City, Missouri p 11

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

Bibliography (2)

Judy Annear, David Moore: the unseen images, Sydney, 1997, 35 (illus.), 40. no catalogue numbers

Rose Peel, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Australian postwar photo-documentary', pg.189-207, Sydney, 2007, 194, 201 (illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

David Moore: the unseen images, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 07 Nov 1997–18 Jan 1998

David Moore 1927-2003 - Photographs from the Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Feb 2003–16 Mar 2003