An image of Alice Millar, Tibooburra, NSW

David Moore

(Australia 06 Apr 1927 – 23 Jan 2003)

Alice Millar, Tibooburra, NSW

Not on display
Further information

David Moore returned to Australia in 1958 having lived in London for seven years where he worked as a photojournalist for illustrated publications such as ‘Life’, ‘Time’, ‘Fortune’ and ‘The Observer’. In Tibooburra, the hottest and most isolated place in north-western New South Wales, Moore photographed Alice Millar. A direct intimate portrait, Alice Millar smiles as she turns from the camera, possibly embarrassed by the attention, eyes momentarily shut against the bright cloudless sky. Behind her are indistinct shadows, sand, rocks and the impression of more heat generated by the reflective surfaces of corrugated iron in the mid-afternoon sun. Moore has positioned the dignified, amenable Alice Millar away from the shade which her modest dwelling could offer in such a harsh environment. The image is in keeping with American photographer Dorothea Lange’s three considerations when taking a photograph – it is not tampered with, has a sense of place as part of its surroundings and has a sense of time past or the present.1 Standing stationary, her body frontally positioned, it is the moment before Alice Millar will look towards the camera, open her eyes and speak, or perhaps turn away.

1. Davis K F 1995, ‘The photographs of Dorothea Lange’, Hallmark Cards Inc, Kansas City, Missouri p 11

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

printed 1997
gelatin silver photograph
35.0 x 35.6 cm image; 40.4 x 50.6 cm sheet
Gift of Karen, Lisa, Matthew and Michael Moore 2004
Accession number
© Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore