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‘I don’t know what sort of photographer I am, but I try to be an honest one.’
Joyce Evans was an unusual phenomenon in the Australian photography scene. Her conversion to photography did not occur until she was already in her forties, while her engagement in professional photography had to wait until she was fifty. She never developed a signature style, nor did she become a template photographer, but she possessed a sensibility that has become characteristic of her work, so that you can quickly recognise a Joyce Evans photograph. She was an artist who possessed a definite photographic personality.
Evans combined documentary photography, social photography, landscape photography and studio practice. She also had a social conscience. Although avoiding didactic images or illustrative propaganda, in her documentary work and in her choice of subjects, she had pursued an agenda that shone a light on racism, social inequality and environmental degradation.
This stylish and generously-illustrated monograph shows how Evans’ photography was about capturing not only the surface appearances, but ultimately the essences, of her subjects. It illustrates the Evans’ belief that in silence and stillness you come to feel the spirit of the subject, and that capturing this spirit was the photographer’s goal.
About the author
Professor Sasha Grishin AM, FAHA established the academic discipline of Art History at the ANU and was the Sir William Dobell Professor of Art History and Head of Art History and Curatorship at the ANU until December 2013. He works internationally as an art historian, art critic and curator. In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) for services to Australian art and art history. He has published over 25 books and over 2,000 articles and catalogue essays dealing with various aspects of art.