Wolfgang Sievers lives!

Wolfgang Sievers, Adams bronze foundry, 1968

If you love Wolfgang Sievers as much as I do – both the man and his work – then this will interest you. The National Library of Australia has the complete archive of his work online and you can scroll through it at will from your computer. This is a vast collection of images covering decades of his work, industrial, architectural, products, portraits, a privelaged insight into his long working life. It is also instructive in showing the versality that a commercial photographer needs to have.

I once began an article about him with the line “In Wolfgang Sievers’ photographs, Australia is busy”, and you can see from this collection an energetic and productive nation. Sievers was a great propagandist for development, but it was often cast in terms of the skill and labour of an individual worker, as in the image above.

The archive can been be found on the Library’s Picture Australia site here.

Eryk Fitkau

Eryk Fitkau died earlier this year, aged only in his late fifties. He was one of the leading commercial photographers in this country and you would recognize some of his work from billboards and magazines. I always thought he was one of the few commercial photographers who had a distinctive style. He was doing arty handcoloured black & white photographs for big league clients when the norm was slick, glossy colour. He stood out.

The wonderful picture above is from a campaign for Jeans West Urban Sprawl although he is better known for his hard-edged fashion and beauty work which has a tough, Eastern European quality, unknown in Australia before him. See his site here.