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Sydney Australia



Grant Mudford

Australia, United States of America

1944 –

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    gelatin silver photograph
    33.8 x 49.2 cm image; 51.0 x 60.6 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r. sheet, ink "Mudford 1977".

    Gift of Christine Godden 1994
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Grant Mudford

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Grant Mudford

    Works in the collection


  • About

    ‘Sydney Australia’ is indicative of the slippage that can occur in Mudford’s photography. Photographed on the Sydney Opera House forecourt, facing Woolloomooloo (a Garden Island crane can be seen just over the top of the Botanical Gardens foliage) this severely formal image focuses on a large dark structure rather than the famous building itself. Beautifully balanced with cloudy sky offsetting the formal lines of the tiled terrace, steps up on the far left and guard rail in the distance the dark structure takes on an almost hallucinatory aspect. It could have landed there much as the alien structures did in the movie ‘2001: a space odyssey’ 1968, however it is the back of a signpost - usually anonymous but now as important as its surroundings.

    Mudford’s work proceeds from a simple yet aesthetically rigorous exploration of the urban landscape and built environment. After studying architecture at the University of New South Wales between 1963-64, Mudford worked as a commercial photographer and cinematographer until 1974. One of his earliest influences was the street photography of Walker Evans, who revealed the grace notes within the apparent mundanity of urban life. Mudford brought to this style his own interest in architecture. After holding his first solo show in Sydney in 1972, Mudford received a Visual Arts Board travel grant from the Australia Council for the Arts which enabled him to travel to the United States. He moved to Los Angeles in 1977, where he continues to reside.

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

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • My city of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Sep 2000–22 Oct 2000

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Grant Mudford

See all 44 works