2019 Darkroom Dinner Auction Items
Lake Oberon, Western Arthur Range, Southwest National Park, Tasmania 1988
pigment ink-jet print 51.5 x 66.0 cm
courtesy of the Estate of Peter Dombrovskis
estimate: $1500 – $2000
Peter Dombrovskis (1945–96) was one of the world’s foremost wilderness photographers. His powerful, reflective and deeply personal images of the unique Tasmanian wilderness had a lasting impact. His images changed the way Australians think about their environment by showing what would be lost through its destruction. Dombrovskis is an MGA Collection artist and is the subject of a major solo touring exhibition from the NLA currently on exhibit at MGA.
Dombrovskis’s images were used in environmental campaigns such as the ‘No Dams’ movement of 1982. This led to many of his photographic images becoming shorthand for environmental and conservation concerns in Australia. Seldom in the history of photography has there been as clear an example of visual culture bearing such political sway.
This photograph shows one of the many lakes in the Western Arthur mountain range, which is situated in south-west Tasmania. This image is typical of Dombrovskis’s practice in that it shows a remote part of the Tasmanian landscape. His images were often produced with the intention of drawing viewers’ attention to the beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness. Like other photographs by Dombrovskis this image has an unreal quality about it, as if it were a part of a surreal fantasy land. This inspires a sense of wonder and awe in the viewer and is one of the reasons Dombrovskis’s photographs have played a part in preserving various Tasmanian natural places.