Photography at Manning Clark House
From the media statement: Maggie Diaz arrived in Australia on a one-way ticket in 1961, (a divorce gift from her Australian husband) and soon established herself as one of Melbourne’s leading commercial photographers.
Known for her expertise in using available light, Diaz had a genius for capturing character and situation.
Dating back to Chicago in the 1950s, her work is also marked by the contrast between the glamorous commercial world and those outside of society with whom she felt a connection.
‘I Don’t Do Sweet’ focuses on the women and girls in the Diaz Collection: strong, composed, defiant and preferably not smiling. It is dedicated to Maggie’s daughter Laurie – the little red head who was adopted out via a baby broker in 1957 – lost because Diaz felt she had nothing to offer a child and life as a single, professional woman, could not involve motherhood.
Largely unrecognized until her 80th birthday in 2005, 90 year old Diaz’s archive is held by the State Library of Victoria and her work has been acquired by the National Library of Australia, The National Gallery of Australia and private collections around the world.