Photographer, filmmaker, writer, adventurer. Controversial, passionate,audacious. Frank Hurley was an extraordinary Australian, possibly most famousfor his Antarctic photographs captured alongside expeditioners Sir DouglasMawson and Sir Ernest Shackleton. From the early twentieth century until hisdeath in 1962 Hurley created a stunning visual archive that chronicled themajor events of the twentieth century, and Australia’s achievements both homeand overseas. This book and the Hurley Collection in the National Library ofAustralia make clear this outstanding contribution and the lengths to which theman would go in order to convey the gravity of events.
For Hurley, image-making and exploration went hand-in-hand and he soughtout experiences as a pioneer documentary film-maker, official photographer intwo world wars, early aviator, and adventure and story-seeker in both thenatural environment and in rapidly disappearing non-western worlds. In hiscompulsion to bring the reality of the world to audiences, he clashed with manyregarding his techniques. In particular, Sir Charles Bean, Australia’s officialwar historian, objected to the use of “composite” pictures. The image Dawn of Passchendaele features an addedcloudburst which adds a “melancholic religiosity and passion of aFlemish masterpiece”.
In his later years, Hurleytravelled throughout the country on a mission to capture Australia forAustralians: taking images of landscape, modern cities, industry andagriculture. Among other works, he made a film of the building of the SydneyHarbour Bridge and he also became involved with ABC radio as a frequentcontributor to the children’s programme TheArgonauts.
Hurley was an enigmatic character, dedicated to the ‘perfect’ picture,sometimes forsaking family and work commitments to take up another offer foroverseas documentary and photographic opportunities. He saw little of thedevelopment of his four children as he travelled the world capturing the exoticfor others.
In this readable, definitive and wonderfully illustrated re-issuedbiography, Alasdair McGregor describes Hurley’s life and character in all itsrichness. Hurley kept diaries throughout his life and McGregor uses theseinsights to give a picture of a truly complex and driven man.
After Frank Hurley’s death, his personal collection of negatives,lantern slides, transparencies, prints, diaries scrapbooks and papers wasacquired by the National Library of Australia and has been used widely in theevocative images of this book.
Hurley believed in his work and was pleased with his vocation, summingup his life in the following way:
Ihave lived a life that suited me best
Itook risks and never regretted them
If I could startagain, I would so everything in the same way
From the classic Then and Now series, showcasing vintage scenes of Sydney and comparing them with the same scene today.
Sydney is graced with natural beauty - a waterscape of beaches, rivers, bays and harbours. this revised and updated, beautifully photographed volume captures the evolution of the city in its remarkable setting through the last century, highlighting both the dramatic growth and the resolute consistency of landmark locations.
Many of the "then" images were photographed at the turn of the 20th century, when Sydney overtook Melbourne as Australia's most populated city. the photos of today's Sydney are a continuation of that story - a city still booming, the foundations still there, but now congested with skyscrapers and transport connections.
Featuring classic Sydney locations such as Circular Quay, town Hall, Parramatta River and the Queen Victoria Building, as well as world-famous beaches and harbour scenes, this book both showcases Sydney's finest and highlights its development over the past hundred years.
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