(Australia 1947 – )
28.0 x 37.2 cm image; 38.8 x 50.6 cm sheet
This subtle image of dusk falling over the inner-city infuses time and place with a moody sense of reverie. The urban streets are mellowed by impressionistic light effects which soften hard outlines and evoke the day’s passage into night. The highly personal and sensual depiction of landscape is in keeping with Christine Godden’s intimate photographic style. Godden spent much of her youth travelling throughout Asia and Europe before arriving in the United States in 1971. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1974 and a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Visual Studies Workshop in New York (State University of New York, Rochester) in 1978. She returned to Australia the same year to become the director of the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, a position she held until 1982.
Godden’s series of sunsets were taken in Sydney, often showing the same scene at different times of the day. Courtesy of her sophisticated education with the Visual Studies workshop, Godden toys with established photographic conventions. The views were taken with a small pocket camera on colour film. The small format negatives were then enlarged to well beyond their intended capacity, magnifying grain, blur and defects in the photograph. As such, Godden was consciously rejecting the demands of technical black and white print perfection in high-art photography. Working instead with a deliberately amateur style and subject matter, she privileges the idea of a personal, subjective vision over the mechanical recording of a moment.
© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007
Natasha Bullock, Australian postwar photodocumentary, Sydney, 2004. no catalogue numbers
Bronwyn Clark-Coolee, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Not 'simply' anything', pg.266-287, Sydney, 2007, back cover (colour illus.), 282 (colour illus.). reproduction on back cover is a detail
Gael Newton, Re-constructed Vision: Contemporary work with photography, Sydney, 1981. cat.no. 19
Michael Wardell, My city of Sydney, Sydney, 2000. no catalogue numbers
Author Unknown, (Christine Godden), Sydney, 1980. cat.no. 25
(Chritine Godden), Watters Gallery, East Sydney, 01 Jul 1980–01 Aug 1980
Project 38- Re-constructed Vision, Contemporary work with photography (1981), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Jul 1981–23 Aug 1981
My city of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2000–22 Oct 2000
Australian postwar photodocumentary, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Jun 2004–08 Aug 2004