We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Surf carnival, Cronulla

printed 1978


Hal Missingham


08 Dec 1906 – 07 Apr 1994

  • Details

    printed 1978
    Media category
    Materials used
    gelatin silver photograph
    38.1 x 26.3 cm image; 50.7 x 40.5 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1978
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Hal Missingham Estate

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Hal Missingham

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Hal Missingham often holidayed at his beach house at Garie in the Royal National Park south of Sydney, not far from Cronulla. In 1970 he published ‘Close focus’ a book of photographic details of rocks, pools, sand and driftwood. As a beachcomber and observer of beach culture Missingham delighted in his immediate environment. ‘Surf carnival, Cronulla’ is a quintessential Australian scene, one that frames an important aspect of national identity and culture. As passive observers, the 1960s was a time when many girls were still ‘minding the towels’ for the boys who surfed or competed in carnivals. Barricaded from the beach and its male activity the young women in bikinis are oblivious to the photographer who has foregrounded their relaxed tanned bodies behind the wire as they in turn observe and discuss the surf lifesavers in formation at the water’s edge. Although a beach is accessible for the majority of Australians and is now an accepted egalitarian space where women bodysurf, ride surfboards and compete along with beachgoers from diverse ethnic backgrounds, 'Surf carnival, Cronulla’ suggests a specific demography.

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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Hal Missingham

See all 62 works