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Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , trackback

Mundaring Arts Centre’s presentation of Richard Woldendorp’s early black and white photography is a tour-de-force that crosses genres and captures the story of a nation coming to terms with its own identity.

Richard Woldendorp Self Portrait

Born in the Netherlands in 1927 he joined the Dutch army at the age of nineteen  and was posted to Indonesia in 1946 where he served for three years. On the completion of his service he and other young Dutchmen decided to pursue adventure in Australia and in 1951 he arrived in Fremantle and settled down to life as a contract house painter.

Richard Woldendorp Photo Bohdan Warchomij

In 1955 on a trip back to his homeland he purchased a Voigtlander and documented his trip back to Holland through Port Said, Naples and the harbour of Oosthaven and while travelling discovered the works of   Magnum founder Henry Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith.

He began to work commercially, and in 1961 won a first and third prize in the Craven A National Portrait Competition.

The recognition afforded by this led to meetings with progressive Australian photographers Max Dupain andDavid Moore, who are celebrated as innovators and photographers of stature and historical importance  in Australia.

His work progressed  through networking with government and advertising agencies and his images were published in Walkabout magazine, The Bulletin, The Weekend Magazine, Vogue and many newspapers.

Book publishing became a feature of his work and with his wife Lyn he set up Photo Index, WA’s first Photo library in 1969.

Woldendorp is known for his aerial colour work of the Australian Landscape but his formative early work in black and white is less well known . Lisa HEGARTY and Clare STROUD Curators  of this retrospective are to be commended for this comprehensive exhibition which includes his darkroom enlarger and the first two cameras he worked with, the Voigtlander mentioned earlier and a Leica Rangefinder.

Lyn and Richard Woldendorp Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The exhibition runs 1 June-15 July 2018.






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