13 June –31 August 2014 13–17 August 2014
THE SIEVERS PROJECT
Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne Art Fair
A WOLFGANG SIEVERS Comalco aluminium used in the construction of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, architect: Roy Grounds 1968; gelatin silver photograph 24.6 x 19.8 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. A A WOLFGANG SIEVERS Matches, Bryant & May, Richmond 1939; gelatin silver print; 51 x 36.3 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
JANE BROWN CAMERON CLARKE ZOË CROGGON THERESE KEOGH PHUONG NGO MEREDITH TURNBULL WOLFGANG SIEVERS
Curated by Naomi Cass and Kyla McFarlane
WHO WAS WOLFGANG SIEVERS? HELEN ENNIS
THE SIEVERS PROJECT NAOMI CASS & KYLA MCFARLANE
CAMERON CLARKE ZOË CROGGON THERESE KEOGH PHUONG NGO MEREDITH TURNBULL
25 26 29 30 33 34
ZOË CROGGON Westgate Bridge (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014; 79 x 53 cm; photocollage; Courtesy the artist and Daine Singer, Melbourne.
JANE BROWN CAMERON CLARKE ZOË CROGGON
ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 41 LIST OF WORKS
THERESE KEOGH PHUONG NGO MEREDITH TURNBULL
The Sievers Project follows a number of exhibitions over the last five years where CCP has opened up a vista on contemporary practice by exhibiting early work by living artists such as Bill Henson, Kohei Yoshiyuki and Robert Rooney, as well as historical photography, alongside contemporary work. As a commissioning exhibition we have titled this a ‘project’ to point towards the year-long research period integral to the exhibition, capturing the curatorial gesture of inviting early career artists to engage with the past. The Sievers Project represents a significant curatorial endeavour for CCP, the tale of which is recounted in the Introduction. It would simply not have taken place were it not for the willingness and generosity of Julian Burnside AO QC to participate, through allowing the artists research access to his Wolfgang Sievers collection and lending work from it for the exhibition, as well as contributing an essay for this catalogue. I acknowledge the artists for setting out on this project and for returning with thoughtful and excellent work. It has been a pleasure to both engage with and exhibit the work of Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoë Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo and Meredith Turnbull. The Sievers Project has been dignified by contributions by a number of experts and I wish to acknowledge Professor Helen Ennis, Australian National University School of Art who has also contributed a catalogue essay; Madeleine Say, Picture Librarian, Eve Sainsbury, Exhibitions Curator and Clare Williamson, Senior Exhibitions Curator, State Library of Victoria; Maggie Finch, Curator of Photography, National Gallery of Victoria and Professor Harriet Edquist and Kaye Ashton, Senior Coordinator, RMIT Design Archives, who all took time to speak about Sievers and share his work with the artists. Opportunities to commission artists are relatively rare and funding through the inaugural Early Career Artist Commissions Grant from the Australia Council has enabled the Project. CCP
is pleased to acknowledge this recognition and support. We are delighted that Lovell Chen Architects & Heritage Consultants have provided further critical support to realise the project, for which we are grateful. We see a germane link between Lovell Chen and the premise of The Sievers Project. The Besen Family Foundation are champions for enabling CCP to produce catalogues for selected exhibitions. I acknowledge the Foundation for their long-standing and generous engagement with CCP. We thank the National Library of Australia for providing permission to reproduce Sievers’ work in this catalogue. The Sievers Project has provided a welcome opportunity for CCP to engage with colleagues in the field of architecture and we are delighted to acknowledge a partnership with the Robin Boyd Foundation to present public programs. We are grateful to Tony Lee from the Foundation for his interest in the Project. Without doubt CCP ’s ability to both present contemporary art well and look after artists is greatly enhanced through the longstanding and generous support of Tint Design and Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. CCP is pleased to present a parallel exhibition of The Sievers Project at the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair and we thank the Melbourne Art Foundation for enabling CCP to bring the exhibition to broad new audiences. For the Art Fair exhibition we are also indebted to Christine Downer, previous CCP Board member and current supporter, for the loan of a major Sievers work. The Sievers Project has been ably assisted by Philippa Brumby, curatorial intern. Co-curator Dr Kyla McFarlane and I thank Philippa for her wide-ranging skills over a substantial period of time. Lastly, I acknowledge Kyla for her excellent curatorial work and for the pleasure of collaborating with such a playful, dedicated and steely intellect.
WOLFGANG SIEVERS Stanhill flats designed by Frederick Romberg, Albert Park, Melbourne 1951; gelatin silver print; 24.1 x 16.8 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
WHO WAS WOLFGANG SIEVERS? The answer to this is relatively straightforward and can be accounted for chronologically. He was born in Berlin in 1913 to parents who were interested in the arts, both historical and contemporary. He trained as a photographer in broken periods between 1933 and 1936 and was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus ideals of simplicity and of bringing art and industry together. While working as a photographer in 1937 he began preparations to immigrate to Australia but was forced to flee Germany the following year after being called up to serve in the Luftwaffe (the German airforce). He arrived in Australia in August 1938 and opened a studio in Collins Street, Melbourne in 1939. After the interruptions to his practice caused by the war he quickly established his reputation as a leader in the fields of architectural and industrial photography during the 1950s and 1960s, working for many important Australian and multi-national companies. Sievers married Brita Klarich in 1939 and had two children (the couple divorced in 1972). In later years he devoted himself to anti-war and human rights issues, in particular the identification of Nazi war criminals who had settled in Australia. He died in 2007 at the age of 93. While the biographical details I have outlined are specific to Sievers and are of course unique, his life story is also a story of the twentieth century, shaped in many crucial instances by circumstances far beyond his control: the rise of fascism, his own Jewish heritage, Hitler’s rule, and the outbreak of the Second World War. His was also a successful story of migration. He came to Australia gladly – his self-declared aim was to get as far away from the Nazis as possible – and embraced his adopted country which gave him ‘life, happiness and freedom’.
WOLFGANG SIEVERS Associated Pulp and Paper Mills, Burnie, Tasmania 1956; gelatin silver photograph; 50 x 40.4 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
WHAT WAS HE LIKE AS A MAN? This is not a question that can be answered with as much certainty, being more dependent on opinion than facts. I first met Wolfgang – whose nickname was ‘Mim’ because he mumbled – when Ian North, inaugural Curator of Photography at the National Gallery, tasked me with selecting a group of his photographs for acquisition. I worked with Wolfgang on a number of occasions over the next several years and curated the retrospective exhibition, The life and work of Wolfgang Sievers, which opened at the NGA in 1991 and subsequently toured to other venues around the country (this was his first one-person show). I can tell you where he liked to stay when visiting Canberra (Tall Trees Motel in Ainslie), what he liked to eat for breakfast (a mixture of grains, seeds and nuts) and how beautiful his home and garden in Sandringham were. I can also tell you that he was a very strong, forceful and opinionated character. He was often dismissive of other photographers, especially women; he was offended when I paired his work with that of another European émigré, Margaret Michaelis, in 1988 in an exhibition at the National Gallery. And in one of our more memorable conversations he openly mocked Olive Cotton’s photography, describing her as ‘a snapper with no talent’. While his dogmatism meant working with him could be fraught, he could also be generous and expansive, had an enormous capacity for hard work and, after a lifetime of meeting tight commercial deadlines, was very reliable. Like Max Dupain, whom he mostly admired, Wolfgang prized being physically active and his virility was important to him. Photographer Robert Imhoff recalls that in the last weeks of his life, when he was confined to his hospital bed, he still had an eye for the nurses. While this side of him didn’t impress me at all I did admire his energy and tenacity and his ongoing engagement with the world.
AND WHAT ABOUT HIS LEGACY? A response to this necessarily combines elements of certitude and having been displaced by machines that are far more efficient speculation. Sievers himself was totally committed to ensuring than humans will ever be. In other words, the bulk of Sievers’ his legacy as a photographer. He spent years meticulously own photographs contradict his central tenet of the dignity of cataloguing and documenting his work and was assiduous labour in the modern machine era. in placing as much of it as he could in major photography The most important aspect of his legacy is undoubtedly his collections around the country – art galleries and libraries. photographs and the astonishingly vast, high quality body of The bulk of his archive, a staggering 65,000 negatives and architectural and industrial work he produced between 1938 and prints, was acquired by the National Library where it has the early 1970s. My view is that his black and white photography been digitised and is available online to users in perpetuity. is the best although he did not agree with me, arguing that his But there is another aspect to his preoccupation with legacy colour photography, with its expressive and dramatic qualities, that has troubled me over the years – his desire to control was equally fine. For me, it his black and white images that are the readings of his work, to ensure that he ‘owned’ the visionary, their precision, clarity and drama embodying the belief contextualisation and interpretation of it. As I see it, some of in progress that underpinned modernity. the framing narratives he constructed were retrospective and I would also suggest Sievers’ legacy isn’t confined to his are misleading because they are not borne out by the evidence, photography. As a man he cared deeply about the world and that is, by the photographs themselves. This is especially wanted it to be better. He was closely involved in the restoration apparent in his insistence that the relationship between ‘man of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s buildings in Berlin in the 1990s and and machine’ was central to his industrial photography. In in the re-evaluation of his own father’s reputation (Professor my assessment of his enormous archive, images that extol this Johannes Sievers was an expert on Schinkel and had used his interaction are actually relatively few in number. They are young son’s photographs in his books on the architect in the outweighed by thousands and thousands of other industrial 1930s). Wolfgang donated his photographs to fund-raising scenes in which the worker is locked into the dreary, repetitive campaigns for human rights and remained a passionate antitasks associated with mass production, or is not present at all, war activist until his death.
WHAT WOULD HE HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THIS PROJECT? I suspect that he would have been thrilled to know that his contribution to Australian life and photography is the touchstone for the six photographers involved in the project and that his work continues to be appreciated. Professor Helen Ennis is Director of the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at ANU School of Art, Canberra.
C WOLFGANG SIEVERS Bruck Mills Guest House, Wangaratta, Victoria 1956; gelatin silver photograph; 21 x 25 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. A JANE BROW N DETAIL, Former Amcor and APM site, Fairfield 2014; toned, gelatin silver print; Courtesy the artist.
Wolfgang Sievers was a remarkable person and a remarkable photographer. Having fled Germany in 1938 the passionate young Bauhaus trained photographer set up a studio at the top end of Collins Street and soon began taking industrial and architectural photographs – the two genres with which he is most closely connected. Sievers’ pre-war commercial photography demonstrates the strong aesthetic sensibility which characterised his later work. One of his earliest industrial photographs taken in Australia was the now famous image of the Bryant & May match machine, Manufacture of Matches at Bryant and May, Richmond, Victoria 1939. It is quite remarkable seeing it now, to realise that this was taken 75 years ago. Sievers’ most famous photograph, although not his favourite, is Gears for the Mining Industry, taken in 1967 at the Vickers Ruwolt factory in Abbotsford, the site now occupied by Ikea. This striking image was used for an Australian postage stamp in 1994. Wolfgang spoke to me about the process of taking the photograph Gears. He wandered around the factory looking for suitable subjects. He saw two giant half wheels, covered in foundry dust and grime. He asked for them to be cleaned and to be placed one element above the other. He set up his lights: five 500 watt lamps he was accustomed to carrying around. He asked an engineer to take a Vernier caliper and stand on the lower element, apparently measuring the pitch of the upper element. They protested, saying that they would never normally do such a thing. Wolfgang insisted. The entire process of setting up the photograph took 18 hours, and he took two frames! Sievers’ favourite image was taken at the Miller Rope factory (Employee Making Rope with Ropeway at Miller Rope, Brunswick, Victoria, 1962). It illustrates as well as any of his photographs his abiding interest in the dignity of labour. This was his driving passion, and can be seen clearly in many of his industrial photographs. In 2004 I was offered the chance of buying a collection of ninety-two framed photographs from Sievers. I agreed to buy them, sight unseen. He told me later how pleased he was that I had said yes so quickly. Apparently, galleries around the country had set up committees to consider the acquisition. For all I know, they are still considering it. In 2006, about a year before his death, Wolfgang asked me if I would accept a large collection of photographs and use them as I chose to raise money for human rights causes. Since then, sales of photographs from that collection have raised over $340,000, the only expense being the cost of framing some of the collection. With his lifelong concern about human rights, I think he would be quietly pleased that his legacy lives.
WOLFGANG SIEVERS Gears for the Mining Industry, Vickers Ruwolt, Burnley, Victoria 1967; gelatin silver photograph; 49.6 x 39.3 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
WOLFGANG SIEVERS The sweat shop, C. J. Wilson clothing factory, Collingwood, Melbourne 1963; gelatin silver photograph; 33.4 x 49.8 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
Along with many Australian photographers, Wolfgang Sievers (1913–2007) was a great supporter of CCP, donating photographs to numerous fundraising auctions. When delivering a large, bright yellow Kodak cardboard box containing an unframed, un-editioned version of Gears for the Mining Industry, Vickers Ruwolt, Burnley, Victoria, 1967 for CCP ’s 2003 fundraising auction, the then frail and elderly man tripped on the front step of the previous gallery in Johnston Street, confirming in the Director’s mind the need to rehouse CCP. This building, he informed us, was the site of an unscrupulous sweatshop on the upper floors, long since departed, and the subject of one of his works documenting factory labour. Towards the end of his life, CCP had scheduled an ‘in conversation’ between Sievers and Julian Burnside AO QC , who by this stage was vocal about their agreement to sell Sievers’ work to raise funds for human rights causes. The evening was cancelled as Sievers was admitted to hospital and the opportunity to reschedule did not arise. Wolfgang Sievers was fantastically engaging for CCP staff who visited his home to receive work or interviewed him for our newsletter. Sievers always had a lot to say. Following Sievers’ death, Burnside suggested we exhibit his Sievers collection. So entrenched in our purpose as a contemporary art space we politely declined, misunderstanding Burnside’s offer to promote the human rights purpose of the collection, thinking he was suggesting we undertake an authoritative retrospective, which was clearly outside the capacity of CCP. We returned to Burnside some years later with the idea of using the collection as a way of immersing contemporary artists in Sievers work and inviting them to respond. The Sievers Project was developed with a twofold purpose: to bring Sievers to the attention of contemporary art audiences and to engage Sievers audiences with contemporary practice. It is hoped that the project enables contemporary work be viewed in relation to a particular past, and for this past to be seen through contemporary interpretations – an instance of backwards causation you might say. The exhibition is not the space in which to assess Sievers’ oeuvre, rather, it is time to bring it into a conversation with the present. 
NAOMI CASS & KYLA MCFARLANE
Wolfgang Sievers The sweat shop, C. J. Wilson clothing factory, Collingwood, Melbourne, (1963).  Daniel Palmer, ‘Wolfgang Sievers’, Flash, June – September 2004, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, p 10-11.
An Australia Council Early Career Artists Commission Grant enabled the project to be realised. Six early career artists with diverse disciplines and interests were selected to make new work in response to Sievers: Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoë Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo and Meredith Turnbull. In the early stages of the project, we had in mind the tradition of commissioning artists to respond to public and private art collections – particularly within a postmodernist paradigm and often in a site-specific space such as a museum or historic house. There are, however, important distinctions between our endeavour and the history of artists opening up interpretation of the collection as a critical, creative intervention. The Sievers Project has been a more open commission. Artists were invited to respond in any way to a broad set of circumstances: to the work, to the man, or to his public declarations on human rights and the dignity of work. And in the context of a dispersed archive, held wholly outside of our contemporary art space, as well as a wide range of sites and associations in the man’s prolific body of work. A process both collective and singular supported the commission brief. Our selection of artists purposefully sought diversity in approach and media, our only criteria was that they have an extended period in which to immerse themselves in Sievers’ work. Alongside the usual curators’ studio visits, the
CA Research material at THERESE KEOGH’s studio, 2014. CB Carrara marble block – work in progress, THERESE KEOGH’s studio, 2014. B Work in progress, ZOË CROGGON’s studio, 2014. BB WOLFGANG SIEV ERS’ photograph, In the Forum Romanum 1953. D Work in progress, MEREDITH T URNBULL’s studio, 2013.
artists have gathered together for research visits and discussions. Proceedings commenced when Sievers expert Professor Helen Ennis joined the artists, project intern and curators for an introductory day at CCP. This began with a spirited journey through his work and life from Ennis, who remained as a go-to advisor on the project, followed by discussion and a visit to the State Library of Victoria to view key Sievers works and ephemera in their collection, presented by Madeleine Say, Picture Librarian, Eve Sainsbury, Exhibitions Curator and Clare Williamson, Senior Exhibitions Curator. Further highly anticipated group outings transpired. In subsequent visits, at National Gallery of Victoria, Maggie Finch, Curator of Photography showed us classic black and white prints and surprising colour photographs, including anthropological works. At the RMIT Design Archives, Professor Harriet Edquist and Kaye Ashton, Senior Coordinator Design Archives opened up Sievers’ world to us, positioning him in Melbourne’s denselypopulated twentieth century design community. An archive of a different kind was Julian Burnside’s legal chambers, where artists viewed his collection in situ, entranced as Burnside pulled boxes from behind and under his desk to show us Sievers prints and share anecdotes about Sievers life. These combined outings sat alongside the solitary experience of making new work. For this, some artists retreated to the studio, some to key Sievers sites, and others back to the archives. Some took a leap from Sievers into other realms, spring boarding from a single Sievers photograph into their own obsessions and trains of thought. Revisiting his industrial clients, including mining sites in Broken Hill, Amcor, APM, Bruck Textiles and Ford, photographers Jane Brown and Cameron Clarke followed gently in Sievers footsteps, as befits their practice. Where Sievers went into a factory to implement the vision of his clients, and to visualise their aspirations, Brown and Clarke have entered with the imprimatur of the artist. Commissioned by the contemporary art space rather than industry, they have nevertheless entered these spaces, some of which are already under public scrutiny with respect to closures and government subsidy, respectfully. Their practice is documentary, not investigative journalism, or reportage, or the surreptitious undercover expose of an activist. Against Sievers’ commercial practice and in line with his expressed interest in the dignity of labour, Sievers did from time to time photograph in a documentary manner, such as in his aforementioned image of the sweatshop above the old CCP building in Johnston Street, Collingwood. (page 14) Jane Brown’s vision is melancholic and elegiac. She is attentive to the degradation of sites closely observed and, at Broken Hill, to the raw and parched mining town landscape with mining equipment standing like strange sculptures in the sun. At the former paper mill, the machines are coated in a Papier Mâché-like covering; boots are left on the factory floor as the workers departed for the final time. She meditates on the modern formality of a glass curtain wall, now a fragile relic amongst trees, arranging her photographs in a formalist grid as
if to memorialise and pay homage to the structure itself. Clarke has produced two kinds of portraits from his time at Bruck Textiles and Ford: the machine and the workers, photographed in isolation, befitting Clarke’s view of the contemporary relationship between worker and machine. For his part, Sievers was known to fake the relationship of body to machine, such as in his theatrical Gears for the Mining Industry, Vickers Ruwolt, Burnley, Victoria, (1967). Elsewhere, the worker is often homogenised into the anonymity of the production line. Clarke’s portraits dignify skilled yet vulnerable individuals, counter to Sievers’ idealised or generic workers, his scientists or engineers. Zoë Croggon works with Sievers where he is most confident, seeking out his dramatic, modern, tectonic images, looking for ‘upmost contrast’ in shadow and light, form and structure. Croggon suspends found images of balletic, athletic bodies in relation to these images, in an almost a dialectical manner– perhaps more in conversation. She plays with perception, unhinging the relative perspective and scale of building and
CC CAMERON CLARKE Gauge Area (Ford Territory Right Hand Rear Quarter Panel) Geelong Stamping Plant, Ford Motor Company 2014; archival inkjet print; 100 x 80 cm; courtesy the artist. C PHUONG NGO Thai Thi Kieu Tien from the series Mother Vietnam 2014; inkjet print; 15 x 10 cm; courtesy the artist. A JANE BROW N Mining Machinery, Line of Lode Miners Memorial Complex, Broken Hill 2014; brown toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print; courtesy the artist.
body. The bodies become fabulous equals to the architecture, echoing, rather than inhabiting it, upturning the classical relationship between architecture and body. Croggon’s juxtapositions are not aggressive – they touch lightly upon Sievers’ imagery, even floating free of it – but in the realm of collage even a simple placement or juxtaposition upon an iconic image can still shock. In Julian Burnside’s office, Therese Keogh and Phuong Ngo each sought out single Sievers photographs from the selection of unframed images in old mats, upon which they focussed entirely. In her selection of a Sievers photograph of a severed marble hand taken at the Forum in Rome, Keogh was drawn to the anomaly in his work. The image is a totally uncharacteristic travel photograph, not even the framing of the photograph gives the author away. But this is an anomaly that wondrously opens up all the issues of her own practice, many of which align somewhat with Sievers’ subjects – her interest in process, materiality, work, industry, the hand made, and the seasonal tasks of agriculture. From the severed marble hand clutching a sheaf of wheat, she has ‘worked’ a heavy block of marble, a material of prosperous built structures and iconic sculptures, fired it into quicklime (in a kiln of her own making) and folded the narrative of agricultural burning of harvest stubble. For Ngo, many relevant issues were already literally sitting in the space of Burnside’s chambers when the QC , human rights advocate and author pulled out from under his desk a photograph of women machinists in a sweatshop. Phuong took this image into his own experience as the son of Vietnamese refugees, making an enlightened link between the sewing machine, and the fact that children of refugees went to sleep at night to the sound of their mother sewing piece work in the lounge room – the sound of the machine playfully characterised as their Vietnamese lullaby. Ngo’s work pays homage to Vietnamese mothers, their life journeys, and to the ubiquity and enduring image of the machine. Meredith Turnbull has a diverse practice, encompassing installation, sculpture, photography and craft-based media. For The Sievers Project, Turnbull has engaged in a process 
The subject too is enigmatic. Indeed, Philippa Brumby sought expert advise to identify the hand. Dr. Felicity Harley-McGowan, historian of Late Antique and Medieval Art at the University of Melbourne, presented several suggestions of its origins and significance
of independent research that has explored his relationship to fellow German émigré Gerard Herbst, a textile designer who was head of Industrial Design at RMIT, Melbourne. Turnbull is attracted to Sievers’ milieu, with her interest in his relationship with Herbst and the photographs he took for him unfolding into an appreciation of a broader community of architects, artists and designers, and also to the graphic quality of his industrial and architectural imagery. Her resulting aesthetic is, however, all her own. Turnbull’s r esponse is an eclectic mix of design, craft and photography, which brings fragments from her own photographs into a design she has printed onto bolts of fabric. She has also turned process and reference imagery into structural collage, situated in proximity to the cloth, which hangs, banner-like, from the gallery ceiling. Wolfgang Sievers was not a contemporary artist in the current understanding of the term. His commercial photography includes work for clients such as Ford Motors, Mobil and architect Frederick Romberg. So the response of contemporary artists in The Sievers Project to this work says something interesting to us about shifts in photography, from its role as ‘document’ to the rise of photography as ‘fine art’ and to the broader, expanded field of lens-based practice, as well as the equally shifting, complex relationship between commercial and artistic practice. Subsequently, The Sievers Project is not a like by like staging of historical and contemporary practice. Sievers’ role could perhaps most accurately be described as that of ‘image-maker’, in the fullest sense of the word. Drawing upon Bauhaus ideals, he built an extensive picture of work and industry in Australia in the 20th century, especially in its middle years. Bringing Sievers back to light in this contemporary moment enables us to reflect upon the changing role the image-maker might play in the imagining of a national identity, and the changing appetite for documentary. We now see Sievers’ work as balletic, theatrical and staged and our societal relationship to work, particularly manufacturing, has changed dramatically. As writer Ray Edgar put it, in reference to work by Jane Brown: ‘If Wolfgang Sievers documented the dynamic rise of Australian manufacturing in the optimistic post-war period of the mid-20th century, Jane
Brown records its abysmal decline in the 21st … Sievers’ love of labour has been lost.’  It is hardly surprising that, against this modernist master, none of The Sievers Project artists have chosen to supplant his vision. Their responses have been delightfully respectful, meandering, lateral and personal. One of the pleasurable unknowns of commissioning as opposed to curating with existing artworks is the experience of working within an inductive framework for the duration of the project. As we write, we have not yet seen the commissioned work together, neither Sievers next to the commissioned work, nor all the commissions within the same space. Befitting of this framework, we conclude with a twofold speculation. Do the commissions emerge with an overt, collective response to the imaginative and declarative photography of Sievers, or have Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoë Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo and Meredith Turnbull responded in more discreet ways, enveloped within their existing practice? And finally, do we see Wolfgang Sievers in a new light? 
Ray Edgar, ‘Past Master: The Sievers Project’, Art Guide Australia, May / June 2014, p 73–76.
C WOLFGANG SIEVERS The Designer Gerard Herbst with his Design of Prestige Material at Red Bluff, Melbourne 1950; gelatin silver photograph; 50.1 x 40.3 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. MEREDITH TURNBULL Composition B I For Fabric 2014; photo collage; courtesy the artist. BB next spread (clockwise from top left) WOLFGANG SIEVERS Sulphuric acid plant, Electrolytic Zinc, Risdon, Tasmania 1959; gelatin silver photograph; 50.3 x 39.9 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. MER EDIT H T U R NBU LL , ZOË CROGGON, CA MERON CLARKE and THERESE KEOGH The Sievers Project; Installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro. JANE BROW N Triptych. The Paper Mill (former Amcor and APM site), Fairfield 2014; 3 panels of 9, 6 and 6 selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver prints; Installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro. WOLFGANG SIEVERS Asta von Borch, student at the 'Contempora School of Applied Arts' in Berlin 1937; gelatin silver photograph; 29.2 x 36.7 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
With a view to examining the sites and locations of some of Sievers’ big industrial clients, I concentrated my efforts on the mining city of Broken Hill, where Sievers photographed extensively in the late 1950s, and the former Australian Paper Manufacturers site in Fairfield that later became Amcor and is now in the process of demolition. By focusing on these two sites the work has become my testimony to the stuff of both silver and paper – a metaphorical wink to photography, if you will. It is also a testament to loss and change. Looking over Sievers’ work, particularly the industrial and architectural, one is struck by a profound sense of the change that has taken place since the heyday of his career in post-war Australia. So many of the places he documented are now gone. Once proud and optimistic, these industries, their workers, their machines, their purpose-built architecture and indeed the very work itself have been lost. Like much of Sievers’ earlier work, my photography is articulated in silver. The attraction of a town known as the “Silver City” was there, but I was also taken with a very beautiful image Sievers had made in Broken Hill in 1959 (page 40). Unable to gain access to this beguiling staircase, I discovered nevertheless that Broken Hill is in many ways an open-air museum to mining, its streets named after the minerals extracted in the area, with mine heads, mining machines, railways, two-up halls, the miners memorial and slag heaps dominating the landscape. Poignantly some of the old mining machinery also served as a memorial to the miners who had died whilst working in the city’s mines. I was able to retrace the very mines Sievers had photographed in 1959, such as the BHAS (now Perilya) winding towers. The modernist vernacular of the town’s civic buildings evoked a Sievers-esque aesthetic, the hand-painted mural in the Palace Hotel reminiscent of The Bar at the Hotel Australia, 1969. I was struck by the endless horizons, the isolation and the dryness – less obvious in the work of Sievers, who was of course fulfilling his clients’ commercial interests. But mining had also changed since Sievers’ time. Broken Hill’s workforce had decreased – a few weeks before my visit CBH Resources had sacked a third of its workforce due to the
downturn in zinc prices. The empty or closed working men’s clubs, abandoned cottages and horizons dotted with obsolete mining equipment seemed testament to this. Although I did not find my staircase in the Silver City, I did find it at the former paper mill situated on the banks of the Yarra River in Fairfield. Associated Pulp and Paper Manufacturer and Australian Paper Manufacturers were major clients of Sievers. He had worked at the Fairfield site in 1964 photographing egg carton manufacture, but it was his work on the now demolished APPM site in Burnie, Tasmania that was my catalyst (page 9). Like Piranesi’s Carceri etchings, paper manufacture is overborne with stairs and monstrous machines. I drew on that sense of disquiet or the unearthly that Sievers evoked in such works as Sulphuric acid plant, Electrolytic Industries, Risdon, Hobart 1959 and Cement Mill, Vickers Ruwolt, Burnley, Melbourne 1969. I also wished to convey the nature of the Fairfield site – over 100 years old and suitably labyrinthine in structure. On the east side of the former paper plant is a wall of windows typical of the modernist factories Sievers documented, such as the former ETA factory in Braybrook. The gridded arrangement of the work exhibited pays homage to these windows, soon to be destroyed, imposing with their blue and silver glass panels. As with my photographs of the abandoned mining equipment in Broken Hill, my representation of the former paper plant is also a testament to the machine. I was able to recognise the Walmsleys rolling machine and other operational hooks and rollers that Sievers’ himself had photographed at the APPM plant in Burnie. But far from being the shiny new examples of engineering in the machine age, these machines were worn down, covered in pulp or branded with a pre-demolition acronym: NAD (No Asbestos Detected). Symbolic of Australian manufacturing in decline, these images also pose questions— what had it been like to work there, had these workers found other jobs, and why had they left their boots behind?
C JANE BROW N Slag Heap, Broken Hill 2014; selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print; 17 x 21.5 cm; A courtesy the artist. JANE BROW N Staircase. The Paper Mill (former Amcor and APM site), Fairfield 2014; fibre-based, gelatin silver print; 40.6 x 50.8 cm; courtesy the artist.
CAMERON CLARKE Wolfgang Sievers’ portraits of workers and industry resonate with me, as my own documentary practice explores the connections between people, their environment and their history. The Sievers Project has provided me with the opportunity to revisit some of the sites where Wolfgang Sievers created his iconic imagery, and to explore the changed relationship between Australian workers and their machines. I have found this opportunity to be most engaging and, given the current climate and upheaval in the Australian manufacturing industry, particularly poignant. It is an interesting and challenging time for many businesses operating in the field of manufacturing. In my research and development of work for this project I have had access to several manufacturing businesses in the midst of immense change and adaptation to local and global economic forces. The imagery I have created for this project, taken at Bruck Textiles in Wangaratta and The Ford Motor Company in Geelong, echoes Sievers’ work in its documentation of industry. It is however a departure from it, in that the ‘worker’ and machine are treated as completely separate. The worker in my view is still vital to the operation of manufacturing industries, however the role of the worker has drastically changed over the past 30-40 years since Sievers created his striking imagery. In the present day of more automated processes, higher input cost demands and a truly global economy and marketplace, manufacturing industries in Australia have needed to adapt. This adaptation has in some respects led to the diminished role
of people in manufacturing workplaces and, moreover and unfortunately, to many of the industries for which Wolfgang Sievers produced work closing their doors. The ‘dignity’ of the worker was fundamental to Sievers’ approach and his imagery of people intricately involved with the machine demonstrates this. I, too, believe in the dignity of people and the work they do and it is for this reason I have given equal standing in terms of style, composition and scale to the people in my photographs, along with the machinery.
C CAMERON CLARKE Ljube (Louie) Nedeski Production Operator, Production Weld, Ford Motor Company, Geelong 2014; archival inkjet print; 63 x 50 cm; courtesy the artist. CAMERON CLARKE Küsters Washer Bruck Textiles, B Wangaratta 2014; archival inkjet print; 100 x 80 cm; courtesy the artist.
I have worked with a small pool of architectural photographs from the Sievers collection in combination with found figurative imagery to create a suite of “split-image” collages. From his oeuvre, I have chosen to use clean industrial and architectural images that make use of sharp tonal contrasts, unusual vantage points and emphasise the efficiency and precision so indicative of his work. My collages combine two divergent images to create a fresh, autonomous work that animates ideas of perception. I merge images of the kinetic body with architecture as a way of drawing parallels and divisions between the two. One aspect of the work is purely formal, focusing on the corresponding lines and contours of the active body and the severity of minimalist architecture. Conceptually, I abstract the human form and its surroundings to consider the limits of observation, reconsidering the formal qualities of familiar objects and figures, lost in their use. In describing his artistic method, Sievers once said, ‘the fundamental Bauhaus idea is purity of line and simplicity of design, both in architecture and industry. To this I added the dignity of man as a worker.’ However, Sievers work was known for its analytical impersonal style, people are mostly absent, the bright new workplaces untouched and unpersonalised. His work, staged, deliberate and even theatrical, pairs well with the posed and rigid forms I have coupled his work with. Despite the lack of people in Sievers’ work, I think he saw his photographs as portraits of not an individual but of a collective portrait of unified man, of group efficiency and gleaming modernity marching neatly into the future. His work is a shrine to the sweat of a collective man working toward the ideal of modernisation and progress. Although I use the human form consistently in my work, I only use slices of the body, heightening the impersonal nature of these figures. The stylisation of the figure (especially the exclusion of the face) reduces the individual features to classically architectonic forms, which in fact adheres to Sievers’ objective and formal compositional style. I see my work as a kind of abstracted portrait, both unifying and further emphasising the disparity between our surroundings and ourselves.
ZOË CROGGON John Holland Constructions, Ginninderra Bridge (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014; photocollage; installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro.
B THERESE KEOGH After Firing (stubble burn) 2014; photopolymer intaglio print; 74 x 54 cm; courtesy the artist. THERESE KEOGH After Firing (CaO) 2014; quick- D lime (from Carrara marble), steel box (used in firing); installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, DB Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro. THERESE KEOGH In the Forum Romanum (after Sievers) 2014; graphite on paper; 41 x 40 cm; courtesy the artist.
‘In the Forum Romanum’ is scrawled on the back of the photograph, depicting a severed right hand holding a sheaf of wheat. The corners are worn down, from decades of the artist pinning and repinning and repining. According to legend, the absent left hand holds a torch; a duality of growth and combustion, like a phoenix at its point of metamorphosis. After the harvest the stubble is burned, clearing the land for the next crop. Over the years burning makes the soil acidic and infertile, unable to support life due to its own history of harvest. And so a fine white powder is deposited over the earth, after the annual fire, to neutralise the soil. The marble was propped up on sandbags to stop vibrations from the chisel reverberating back into the artist’s hand. In a gesture towards immortality, the artist chipped away at the stone, unaware that the hand being carved would one day be severed, whether through incident or intention. It was asked what it meant to sever a hand; a hand that is both maker and made. Large kilns were constructed, with buildings and sculptures – made centuries earlier – dismantled and stacked inside, to be fired at such high temperatures that their chemical state would be irreversibly altered. The quicklime produced through this process was used as the basis for the construction of new buildings, remodeling the cityscape. The new chemical structure of the quicklime, however, undermined the desire for rebuilding history. Through its own process of production it had become impossible to handle, reacting violently with moisture from the maker’s hands, burning them. Like Frankenstein’s monster, the substance awakened. 
This photograph was taken by Wolfgang Sievers in 1953 while travelling through Rome. Unlike many of his other works, there is only one known print in existence, and no negative.  The hand in the photograph has been identified as that of Ceres, goddess of agriculture.  Hundreds of millions of years ago, broken down seashells gathered at the bottom of the ocean. The pressure of the water above compacted the sediment to form limestone. Further pressure, and high temperatures caused a metamorphosis, resulting in marble. Seashells, limestone and marble are all forms of calcium carbonate. When fired, the carbon dioxide trapped inside is burned away, transforming the calcium carbonate into calcium oxide, or quicklime. CaCO3 (s) → CaO(s) + CO 2 (g)  Quicklime has a very high pH, making it an alkaline. When it comes into contact with water a chemical reaction takes place, resulting in temperatures as high as 800oC. CaO(s) + H 2 O(l) → Ca(OH) 2 (s)  The etymology of the word ‘quick’ is to be ‘alive’ or ‘living’.
MOTHER VIETNA M
A PHUONG NGO Untitled #1 from the series Mother Vietnam 2014; inkjet print; 15 x 10 cm; courtesy the artist. D PH UONG NGO Lullaby 2014; industrial sewing machine; Untitled #1 from the series Mother Vietnam 2014; 27 inkjet prints; each 15 x 10 cm; installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro.
In the year 39ce, Thi Sach a Vietnamese noble, lead a revolt and children crossed boarders and boarded boats with no against the Chinese occupation of Vietnam. He failed in indication of where they would end up or even if they would his attempt and in retaliation was executed by the Chinese. arrive at a destination. Yet the urge to seek a better existence Widowed in her thirties, Trung Trac, enraged at the injustice of was so great that they were willing to take the risk. Although her situation and that of her country, shunned the traditional unknown, it is estimated that anywhere between 200,000 and mourning of her husband as a recluse, opting to fight. 500,000 Vietnamese perished at sea. Along with her sister, Trung Nhi, she rallied supporters and The experiences of women who fled Vietnam during this launched a rebellion against Chinese rule in 40ce. Raising an period vary greatly, stories of rape and murder are abundant, army of 80,000 troops consisting predominately of women, the but within all of these terrible histories and memories, the Trung sisters drove the Chinese out of Vietnam ending over stoic Vietnamese woman who defies her existence beyond 150 years of occupation. Installed as queens, Trung Trac and being ‘just’ a survivor of trauma still remains. Much like their Trung Nhi reigned for 2 years. In 43ce, under the command of ancient counterparts, there was no time for mourning and General Ma-Vien, Chinese forces reinvaded Vietnam. In defeat many of these women upon resettlement in Australia found the Trung sisters, rather than be captured, cast themselves in employment as outworkers and streamstresses, sewing clothes the Hat River. on industrial sewing machines in their homes for an array of The Trung sisters have been revered as heroes since; temples, clothing companies. roads and buildings bear their name. Their mythology permeates Others simply sewed clothes for their own children as a cost Vietnamese national and individual identity presenting the first cutting measure. Thai Thi Kieu Tien was twice a refugee. Born historic image of the stoic Vietnamese woman. in Cambodia to Vietnamese parents who fled the Indochinese Trung Trac and Trung Nhi set the framework for women War along with much of the French speaking elite, she was then actively engaging in conflict over the course of 2 millennia; forced back into Vietnam as a teenager upon the rise of the including the recent Indochinese War and the Vietnam Khmer Rouge and the subsequent cleansing of the Vietnamese. (American) War. In these modern conflicts Vietnamese women In 1981, as a young mother with a five month old child she once have often taken key roles as patrol guards, intelligence agents, again fled a war torn country with her husband on a boat with propagandists, and military recruiters. no real destination, she did not eat or sleep for three days. In South Vietnam women often volunteered to serve in the After arriving in Australia she had another three children Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s Women's Armed Force and after some time was able to purchase a sewing machine Corps. They tended to serve in ‘supporting’ roles often as nurses on which she would spend evenings making clothes for her and doctors on the battlefields. Although there is mention of children; happy pants with fluro dinosaurs on skateboards, armed combat, most accounts are unsubstantiated. hoodies and Christmas themed shirts and dresses for special In North Vietnam, however, women fought alongside their events. male counterparts in both the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese I have fond memories of those happy pants and sound of military against the French during the Indochinese War, and the sewing machine lulling me to sleep. South Vietnam and its French and American allies during the Vietnam War. The victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in This work is an ode to… May 1954 (Indochinese War) is said to have involved hundreds The Vietnamese Woman of thousands of women, and many of the names on the Viet The Vietnamese Mother Cong unit rosters were female. Thai Thi Kieu Tien (Mum) The fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 signaled the largest mass human exodus from Vietnam in its 2000 years of conflicts and foreign occupation. Men, women
My work for this project takes the graphic quality of many of Wolfgang Sievers’ photographs as its starting point: including the striking formal compositions in the architecture he photographed and how he enhanced these qualities through his particular vision. Sievers’ use of light, shadow and point of view, and his play with angles and perspective were each things that influenced my response. Two images became particular touchstones for the project: photographs from a series he took for designer and former head of Industrial Design at RMIT University, Gerard Herbst. Sievers captured models in the studio, Prestige Material Design fabrics and Herbst’s original photo transfer on fabric techniques. In many ways my project pivots around the image of Gerard Herbst silhouetted on the beach at Red Bluff holding a roll of Prestige Material above his head: as if baring a standard or waving a flag in demonstration. My contribution responds to these distinct aspects of the work: Sievers’ documentation of the fashion industry of the time and particular contributions to this field, and his own unique abstract and formal way of viewing and recoding the world around him. My work for the exhibition includes a series of collaged, floor-based panels and two hanging fabric works utilising both appropriated images and my own photographs. Both the floor and hanging works endeavour to reflect the architectures and geometries at play within Sievers’ photographs and the formal patterning of 1950s fabric design.
MEREDITH TURNBULL Composition I For Fabric 2014; heat set digital print on cotton voile, aluminium tube and shock cord; Composition For Floor in 7 Panels 2014; particle board, timber, acrylic paint and decoupage; photocopy paper; installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro.
JANE BROWN is a Melbourne-based artist, specialising in monochromatic photography. Completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in 1990 she has also studied at VCA and RMIT. Brown has exhibited in several solo exhibitions, including a Hopeless Taste of Eternity, Pigment Gallery, 2009; Monumental Effect, Death Be Kind Gallery, Melbourne 2010; Afterlife, Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Ballarat 2011; Australian Gothic, Edmund Pearce, Melbourne 2012 and Island of the Colourblind, BREENSPACE , Sydney 2013. Group exhibitions include CCP Declares: On the Nature of Things, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne 2012; Not Before Time, BREENSPACE, Sydney 2013 and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013. Brown’s work is held in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the National Galley of Victoria and Horsham Regional Art Gallery. Brown was a finalist in the Monash Gallery of Art Bowness Photography Prize in 2012 and 2013. Her work has been profiled in a number of publications including Photofile and The Australian newspaper. Brown was recently awarded ARTAND Australia/Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award, 2014.
CAMERON CLARKE West Point Warper Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014; archival inkjet print; 100 x 80 cm; courtesy the artist.
CAMERON CLARKE is a Melbourne-based documentary photographer with an interest in large format landscape and portrait photography. Clarke has created work in both Australia and internationally, in countries such as Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway and the United States. Since completing a Bachelor of Arts (Photography) degree at RMIT, Clarke has exhibited in several solo shows including Takings of Place, C3 Contemporary, Melbourne 2011, Where Waters Meet, C3 Contemporary, Melbourne 2012, 45 Miles to Chesapeake Bay, C3 Contemporary, Melbourne 2013 and group exhibitions including The Study of Everything, C3 Contemporary, Melbourne 2012, William and Winifred Bowness Prize (awarded ‘People’s Choice’ award), Monash Gallery of Art Melbourne 2013 and Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award (finalist), Gold Coast 2014. International exhibitions include Foreign Eye, Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi Provence, China 2011.
ZOË CROGGON is a Melbourne-based artist who works with sculpture, video, drawing and primarily collage. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Drawing) in 2010 with First Class Honours in 2011 at Victorian College of the Arts where she was awarded the ACACIA Art Award and was short listed for the Wallara Travelling Scholarship. Solo exhibitions include Zoë Croggon, Daine Singer, Melbourne 2012; Pool, West Space, Melbourne 2013; Deuce, Daine Singer, Melbourne 2013 and Apex, Transit Gallery, The Substation, Melbourne 2014. She has also exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, more recently these include Splitting Image, Tinning St Gallery, Melbourne 2012; Exploration 12, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne 2012; Dodecahedron, Platform Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne 2012; Liquid Archive, CCP, Melbourne 2012; Future Now, The Substation, Melbourne, Cowwarr Art Space, Gippsland 2012 and Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, 2013. Croggon was recently shortlisted for the Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2014.
THERESE KEOGH is a Melbourne-based artist who employs research methods to examine the structures that produce, and transform, space through an engagement with site, landscape design and vernacular architecture. She graduated from Monash University with First Class Honours in 2011. Solo exhibitions include Beeswax Project, Light Projects, Melbourne 2011, Bell’s Swamp, Allan’s Walk Shop 7, Bendigo 2012, Platform Archive Project, Platform Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne 2012, and The Equatorial Arrangement (part one), Tarp Space, Ouyen 2013. Keogh’s recent collaborative and group projects include Between Architecture: The Writing Project, FELTspace, Adelaide 2013, Eclipse (return), Articulate Project Space, Sydney 2013, raft, Craft Victoria, Melbourne 2013, Landscape Transformed, Wallflower Photomedia Gallery, Mildura and Obscured, Bus Projects, Melbourne 2014.
PHUONG NGO’s practice explores the individual and collected identity of the Vietnamese Diaspora through the exploration of history, politics and culture. He completed a Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) with Honours at RMIT in 2012. His solo exhibitions include The Vietnam Archive Project, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne 2012, Domino Theory, CCP, Melbourne 2012, My Dad the People Smuggler, Counihan Gallery, Brunswick, 2013, and Article 14.1, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne 2014. Recent group exhibitions include Debut IX, Blindside, Melbourne 2013, Honours Endowment Travelling Scholarship, RMIT School of Art Gallery, Melbourne 2013, The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane 2013, Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2014 and Vietnam/ Australia: Voicing the unspoken, Yarra Gallery, Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Melbourne 2014. He has also exhibited as a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra 2011, William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne 2012, and The Substation Contemporary Art Prize, Substation, Melbourne 2013.
MEREDITH TURNBULL’s practice is multifaceted, including photography, jewellery, sculpture, video and installation. Turnbull is current a PhD candidate in Fine Art at Monash University Australia (2010-), having also completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Gold and Silversmithing) at RMIT University (2003–2006), a Bachelor of Arts, Honours (Art History) at La Trobe University (1996–2000) and Certificate of Photography at Photographic Imaging Centre (1995–1996). Turnbull has exhibited in several solo exhibitions including Target Practice, CCP, Melbourne 2011, Co-workers, Rae and Bennett, Melbourne 2012, The Edible Woman, West Space, Melbourne 2012 and Compositions, Bus Projects, Collingwood 2014. Turnbull has also participated in group exhibitions including CLUNKY, LOOSE and TIGHT, Sutton Project Space, Melbourne 2012, The Telepathy Project, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne 2012, Signature Style, Craft Victoria, Melbourne 2013, Art or Cunning, Watch This Space, Alice Springs 2013, Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2014, and Dusty Chair, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne 2014.
MEREDITH TURNBULL Composition for floor in 7 panels 2014 (detail); particle board, timber, acrylic paint and decoupage photocopy paper ; installation view, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; photo Christian Capurro.
LIST OF WORKS
All works courtesy the artist unless otherwise stated. JANE BROW N Triptych. The Paper Mill (former Amcor and APM site), Fairfield 2014 3 panels of 9, 6 and 6 selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver prints each 38 cm x 47 cm framed dimensions: 121.5 x 148 cm; 121.5 x 101 cm; 121.5 x 101.0 cm page 22 Staircase. The Paper Mill (former Amcor and APM site), Fairfield 2014 fibre-based, gelatin silver print 40.6 x 50.8 cm framed dimension: 57 x 46.5 cm page 24 The Broken Hill series 2014: Boot brush, entrance to administration building, Perilya Mine site, Broken Hill gold toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print page 10 Broken Hill Railway Station gold toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print Disused tanks, Broken Hill brown toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print Italo International Club, Broken Hill (located opposite the CBH Rasp Mine) gold toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print Mining Machinery, Line of Lode Miners Memorial Complex, Broken Hill 6 brown toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver prints page 18 Mining Machinery, Line of Lode Miners Memorial Complex, Broken Hill fibre-based, gelatin silver print Museum at the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Broken Hill fibre-based, gelatin silver print Palace Hotel, Broken Hill fibre-based, gelatin silver print Perilya Mine, Broken Hill selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print Slag Heap, Broken Hill selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print page 24 Building with the St Johns's Cross (possibly for the Maltese community or the St John Ambulance service gold toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print
View over Broken Hill selenium toned, fibre-based, gelatin silver print each 17 x 21.5 cm (framed dimensions: 20 x 24.5 cm) CAMERON CLARKE Garry Sanders Warping Operator, Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 63 x 50 cm Gauge Area (Ford Territory Right Hand Rear Quarter Panel) Geelong Stamping Plant, Ford Motor Company 2014 100 x 80 cm page 18 John Taylor Warping Operator, Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 63 x 50 cm Karen McNuff Warping Operator, Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 archival inkjet print 63 x 50 cm Kevin Mullan Fitter & Turner, Ford Motor Company, Geelong 2014 63 x 50 cm Küsters Washer Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 100 x 80 cm page 27 Ljube (Louie) Nedeski Production Operator, Production Weld, Ford Motor Company, Geelong 2014 63 x 50 cm page 27 Shipping Bay (Ford i6 Engine) Geelong Engine Plant, Ford Motor Company 2014 100 x 80 cm Theis Dye Jets Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 100 x 80 cm Toni Ryan Warping Operator, Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 63 x 50 cm West Point Warper Bruck Textiles, Wangaratta 2014 100 x 80 cm page 36 All works archival inkjet prints All works edition of 3 + 1 ap ZOË CROGGON Comalco Aluminium Used in the Construction of the National Gallery of Victoria  (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014 80 x 73 cm page 5
Comalco aluminium used in the construction of the National Gallery of Victoria  (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014 87 x 60 cm Westgate Bridge (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014 79 x 53 cm page 5 View from the great hall of the National Gallery of Victoria towards the forecourt (After Wolfgang Sievers) 2014 76 x 89 cm page 40 John Holland Constructions, Ginninderra Bridge (after Wolfgang Sievers) 2014 70 x 86 cm page 28 All works photocollages Courtesy the artist and Daine Singer, Melbourne. THERESE KEOGH After Firing (CaO) 2014 quicklime (from Carrara marble), steel box (used in firing) 118 x 70 x 50 cm page 31 After Firing (stubble burn) 2014 photopolymer intaglio print, lid of steel box (used in firing), steel frame 70 x 74 x 54 cm page 31 In the Forum Romanum (after Sievers) 2014 graphite on paper 41 x 40 cm (framed dimensions) page 31 PHUONG NGO Lullaby 2014 130 x 120 x 80 cm industrial sewing machine, thread page 32 Thai Thi Kieu Tien from the series Mother Vietnam 2014 15 x 10 cm 9 inkjet prints edition of 6 (individual) edition of 2 + 1AP (set of 9) page 18 Untitled #1 from the series Mother Vietnam 2014 27 inkjet prints each 15 x 10 cm edition of 6 (individual) edition of 2 + 1 ap (set of 27) page 32
C WOLFGANG SIEV ERS North Broken Hill mine, administration entrance, New South Wales 1959; gelatin silver photograph; 24.0 x 19.5 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. A ZOË CROGGON View from the great hall of the National Gallery of Victoria towards the forecourt (After Wolfgang Sievers) 2014; 76 x 89 cm; photocollage; Courtesy the artist and Daine Singer, Melbourne.
WOLFGANG SIEVERS AMP St James Centre Cnr William & Bourke St 1970 50 x 40 cm Anti-Vietnam War Protest by Wolfgang Sievers 1967 50 x 40 cm Asta von Borch at Contempora School for Applied Arts 1937 40 x 30 cm page 23 Australian Paper and Pulp Manufacturers 1956 60 x 46 cm page 8 Construction of Cement Mill Vickers Ruwolt 1969 50 x 40 cm Gears for Mining Industry Vickers Ruwolt 1967 60 x 48 cm page 13 Rayon Loom Tuner, Bruck Mills 1950 50 x 40 cm Ropemaking Miller Rope 1962 50 x 40 cm ‘Stanhill’ cnr Queens Rd & Hanna St 1951 50 x 40 cm Sulphuric Acid Plant at EZ Industries 1959 50 x 40 cm page 22 Textile Designer Gerard Herbst at Red Bluff 1950 37 x 28 cm page 21 All works gelatin silver prints Collection of Julian Burnside, Melbourne MEREDITH TURNBULL Composition I for Fabric 2014 heat set digital print on cotton voile, aluminium tube and shock cord; dimensions variable edition of 2 + 1 AP pages 21+35 Composition for Floor in 7 Panels 2014 particle board, timber, acrylic paint and decoupage; photocopy paper dimensions variable pages 35+39
COLOPHON A RT IST’S ACK NOW LEDGEM EN TS JANE BROW N I would like to express my gratitude to following people who helped make this project possible: Tom Paul, General Manager Project Development from Glenvill, for his genuine interest in the project and for arranging my access to the former paper mill site at Fairfield truly one of the most extraordinary places I have photographed. For a site that was in the process of demolition his sense of urgency and flexibility was incredibly helpful. Jason Deans and Steve Young from Delta Group who so generously escorted me around the former Amcor site. I am immensely grateful for their patience in giving me the time and space to do my work and for their understanding for what I was trying to achieve. For keeping me safe and for not laughing too hard when I thought NAD was a tag from a dexterous teenager with a spray can. Jane Hodder, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills and CCP Board member for her expeditious results and invaluable advice and assistance in providing the necessary introductions to the companies that I hoped to photograph. Glenn Maskell and Jason Arnheim from Amcor. David Hume, General Manager at Perilya Mine, Broken Hill for granting me access to the mine’s entrance to photograph the winding tower. Line of Lode Miners Memorial and Visitors Centre, Broken Hill John Madden from the Mining and Mineral Museum at Broken Hill for the very useful information he provided on locations of interest. National Gallery of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, RMIT Design Archive and Julian Burnside for opening up their inspirational collections of original Wolfgang Sievers photographs. National Library of Australia, Canberra Picture Collection for their extraordinary image database. Helen Ennis for her compelling lecture and exceptional monograph on Wolfgang Sievers that provided me with a constant reference point. Bob from Neo Frames, who like many a Melburnian, has a Sievers connection. Greg Wood from Woodworks Framing.
The Centre for Contemporary Photography and the Australia Council for this unique opportunity. Lastly, the CCP staff – particularly Naomi Cass (director) and Kyla McFarlane, curators of the project – as well as Karra Rees, Pippa Milne, Joseph Johnson and Philippa Brumby. CAMERON CLARKE Elle Ozturk, Alan Collins, John Taylor, Scott Parker, Garry Sanders, Karen McNuff, Leslie Montgomery, Toni Ryan and the staff and management at Bruck Textiles in Wangaratta. David Potter, Terry McKiernan, Kevin Mullan, Muray Wilson, Louie Nedeski, Paul Connors, Alan Jalocha, Mick Howard, Gina Kavvadas, Russell Jacobs and the staff and management at The Ford Motor Company, Geelong Plant. Jake Lowe, Kim Mennen, Stuart Crossett, Kelly Russ, Naomi Cass, Kyla McFarlane, Pip Brumby and the staff at The Centre for Contemporary Photography. Kate for her help with words, and, my family for their continued support. THERESE KEOGH Erin Keogh, Alison Brookes, Laura Carthew, Emma Hamilton, Tess Healy, Julian Burnside, Andrew and Clare Keogh, Rebecca Dal Pra, Matthew Dettmer, Dr Felicity Harley-Mcgowan, Deanna Hitti and Paul Gilders. MEREDITH TURNBULL Meredith Turnbull would like to thank the curators, Naomi Cass and Kyla McFarlane and intern Philippa Brumby of the The Sievers Project, the staff of Centre for Contemporary Photography, Matthew Linde and the Centre for Style, Beau Emmett and Ross Coulter.
THE SIEVERS PROJECT Curated by Naomi Cass, Director, CCP and Kyla McFarlane, Associate Curator, CCP A Centre for Contemporary Photography exhibition All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including photocopying, recording or any information retrieval system) without permission from the publisher. © the artists, writers and Centre for Contemporary Photography 2014 DESIGN Joseph Johnson INSTALLATION Beau Emmett PROJECT INTERN Phillippa Brumby ISBN 978–0–9875976–2–5 PRINTER
Centre for Contemporary Photography 404 George Street Fitzroy Victoria 3065, Australia CONTACT +613 9417 1549 www.ccp.org.au email@example.com Centre for Contemporary Photography is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its principal arts funding and advisory body. Centre for Contemporary Photography is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. CCP is a member of CAOs Contemporary Arts Organisations of Australia.
SUPPORTERS Government Partner
The development, presentation, promotion and tour of this project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. Philanthropic Partner
ZOË CROGGON I would like to thank Alison, Daniel, Martin and Kira for lending me their sharp eyes and giving me their unwavering support. Thank you to Kyla, Naomi and Pip for inviting me to participate in this exciting exhibition and making it such a joyous project to be involved in. I would also like to thank the unnamed photographers whose work I have found and appropriated for this exhibition. Lastly, thank you Wolfgang Sievers.
Public Program Partner
B WOLFGANG SIEVERS Advertisement for 'Elbeo' stockings, Contempora, Berlin 1938; gelatin silver photograph 28.9 x 38.9 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive. BB WOLFGANG SIEVERS Cocktail bar at Menzies Hotel, Melbourne, Australia 1965; gelatin silver photograph, 45.9 x 35 cm; National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.
THE SIEVERS PROJECT
JANE BROWN CAMERON CLARKE ZOË CROGGON THERESE KEOGH PHUONG NGO MEREDITH TURNBULL WOLFGANG SIEVERS
Centre for Contemporary Photography 13 June –31 August 2014 Melbourne Art Fair 13–17 August 2014
Artists: Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoe Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo, Meredith Turnbull and Wolfgang Sievers. Published for the exhi...