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born 1931

Kerry Dundas was born in Sydney, the son of artist Douglas Dundas. He first meant to follow his father’s profession but on taking up photography as a school boy at Sydney Grammar, he found the vitality of the medium drew him into a career as a photographer.

After leaving school, Dundas began a three-year apprenticeship in 1948 in Monte Luke’s portrait studio. This largely involved washing wedding prints but he was able to graduate to commercial photography with Gervaise Purcell and finally to Max Dupain’s studio in 1951. The new job brought an opportunity to work in a wide range of commercial work, including architectural and industrial illustration.

The documentary movement was very influential at this time and Dundas followed the pattern of his generation by going overseas to try to break into photo-journalism. Prior to his departure in 1958, Dundas had been exhibiting work in the documentary spirit. He was a member of the “Six Photographers” group exhibition in this spirit in1955.

In London, Dundas was successful in his desire to work as a photo-journalist. He was able to cover a story on unemployment in Ireland for The Observer and other stories with a sociological interest followed including one on Nottinghill Gate riots. Dundas then spent time working freelance in Italy before taking up an assignment to photograph homes and gardens in Europe. He had pictures published in The Sunday Times, Vogue, The Guardian and The Geographical magazine.

After seven years abroad, Dundas returned to Sydney in 1967 with his wife Roberta. He had done work for the lucrative American magazine market and felt that stories on the Pacific area would be attractive to this demand. A book illustrating aspects of New Guinea followed in 1969. Dundas was appointed photographer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1972.

above text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980

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