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.
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.
documentary movement was very influential at this time and Dundas
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
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,
Guardian and The Geographical magazine.
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.
based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980