He arrived by boat, a German immigrant fleeing war-torn Europe. After setting up a photographic studio in the cultured Flinders Lane, he soon started shooting for the who’s who of fashion. The names Vogue Australia, Sportscraft and Holden rise to mind.
Henry Talbot is a legendary lens man. His renowned and intimate photographs are on display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) for nearly two months running until August 21st, featuring more than 80 images by the émigré.
The collection sheds light on the energising internationalism he brought to Australian photography. Looking at his editorials and celebrity profiles, you find yourself taking second looks at the location. What consistently reads as ‘Melbourne’ is easily mistaken for bustling, lively streets of New York, or even quaint, historic laneways of Paris. Talbot’s ability to transform an image to a wholly unique scene is just one element of the creative skills that make him eminent in the world of photography.
The NGV exhibition covers the ’60s start to finish, from double denim, flowing hair to austere mod-minimalism. The showcase offers insight, in a visual transformation, to the changing role of women. The pictures serve as ingenious historical records and give an inspiring overview of Talbot’s talent.
How was the gallery lucky to get its hands on these images? Talbot donated more than 35,000 images to the NGV at the end of the ’80s. Exhibition curator Van Wyk spent momentous hours selecting 80 pieces from the ingenious collection for the retrospective exhibit.
‘Henry Talbot: 1960s Fashion Photographer’ is still running at NGV until August 21st. Entry is free.
Photo of Talbot photography by Taylor Woodward