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Australian art


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Cane trains, Victoria Mill, North Queensland

printed 1984


David Stephenson

United States of America, Australia

1955 -


In 1978, CSR was the first company in Australia to commisison photographers to work as artists rather than as illustrators. Completed in 1985 and including the work of 23 Australian photographers it was exhibited extensively and given to the Art Gallery of NSW. David Stephenson was one of the 23 photographers. His panoramic photographs of North Queensland CSR locations continued his interest in the nature of human interactions with the landscape.

Stephenson’s affinity with the American New Topographic movement in the 1970s precipitated his fascination with the tradition of landscape photography. Pursuing new ways to represent the land outside the aesthetic strictures of the documentary approach, Stephenson’s work is, according to Daniel Palmer, ‘imbued with romantic sensibility’ 1 and confronts philosophical concepts such as the infinite and the unknown with a minimalist sensibility and poetic acuity. Discussing his landscape photographs, Stephenson alludes to the way they ‘refer to the history of landscape imagery, because to recall this history is to recall the history of human landscape consciousness.’ 2

1. Daniel Palmer, ‘David Stephenson’ in Blair French & Daniel Palmer (eds), ‘Twelve Australian photo artists’, Piper Press, Sydney 2009 p169
2.Susan van Wyk,' Sublime space: photographs by David Stephenson 1989-98', NGV Melbourne p 2



printed 1984

Media category


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


24.0 x 102.0 cm image overall; 42.0 x 118.9 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated verso


CSR Photography Project Collection - Bicentennial Gift of CSR Limited 1988


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

David Stephenson

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


CSR Limited, CSR 1855-2005 Celebrating 150 years, Sydney, 2005, 64 (illus.).

Robert McFarlane and Christine Godden, CSR Photography Project Collection: A bicentennial gift to the AGNSW, Sydney, 1988. no catalogue numbers