Sydney Portfolio

William Street, Sydney – 1966

David Moore was to discover what he termed the ‘magic’ of photography on receiving a Coronet camera for his 11th birthday. What the camera delivered to his youthful imagination changed forever a presumption that he would follow in the footsteps of his architect father John D. Moore. Moore senior had a second string to his bow: recognition as a celebrated painter, Australia’s first significant water-colourist. For David it was a double legacy to be envied: an appreciation of the discipline of built form, of its potential for beauty and drama, and a sensibility grounded in the powers of observation together with a visual acumen, an unerring eye and a quick-wittedness primed to capture the fleeting moment.

Born in Sydney in 1927, Moore grew up on the Harbour’s eastern edge, a handy vantage point from which to view the city, its environs, its shipping traffic. Once armed with a camera he recorded his immediate world with enthusiasm, photographing his friend on a bike, his brother, seagulls on the beach at Manly, the view from his house, big game-fish hanging from the gallows at Watsons Bay, the Archibald Fountain at Hyde Park, the Catalina flying boats at Rose Bay and the city shrouded in early morning mist. Simple and naïve, his shots represented a useful learning curve. They also established the beginnings of an appropriation of the city as his private palette and singular beguilement. It could be said that Sydney was worming its way into his DNA.

When Moore took his love affair with his hometown to its harbour and streets, he gave as much attention to the distressed areas of Redfern, Edgecliff, Alexandria and Paddington as he did to the well-to-do city streets. The former was motivated by his admiration for the work of American photographers Walker Evans (1903-1975) and Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), both of whom contributed to the rise of photojournalism, an area that was to entrance Moore in the 1950s. The latter involved captivation to an aura of wealth and excitement in the business centre of Martin Place where he would sneak to the highest vantage points to capture the soaring colonnaded neo-classical facades that dwarfed the pavement crowds.

The images Moore produced while still in his early twenties remain some of his finest. Certain of them, including Redfern interior (1949) and Sydney Harbour Bridge 2 (1949) have become classics – icons imprinted on Australia’s visual memory. And despite his extensive travels, Sydney remained the place he preferred in order to keep exploring and experimenting with new ideas.

For enquiries about these photographs please email Lisa Moore, or Josef Lebovic (Josef Lebovic Gallery).

William Street, Sydney looking west – 1961Redfern Interior – 1949Sydney from Darling Harbour – c.1948Slum kids – 1948Boys with elephant – c.1948Redfern – 1948Boys on ute – c.1948Paddington – c.1947Paddington – c.1948Rosehill 2 – c.1948Surry Hills Boy 1 – 1948 Surry Hills Street – 1948Boy with spring, Redfern – 1948Young children, Redfern slums – c.1948Surry Hills boy 2 – 1948 Elderly couple, Surry Hills slums – c.1948Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney – 1947Martin Place 5.10pm, Sydney – 1949Martin Place, Sydney – 1949City newsagent, Sydney – c.1948Rush hour, Circular Quay Sydney – 1962Erskine Street and AWA tower – c. 1947Painting the <em>Himalaya</em>, Sydney – 1950 x18-7<em>Himalaya</em> at night – 1950Sydney Harbour Bridge, 2 – 1947Gipps Street, Paddington – c.1950Strand Arcade, Sydney – c.1958Rowe Street, Sydney – c.1958Martin Place  – c.1951Policeman directs traffic, Martin Place – c.1950GPO corner, George Street, Sydney – c. 1949Orcades departure, Pyrmont – c.1948Well-wishers and streamers, Pyrmont – c.1948<em>Port Brisbane,</em> Pyrmont – c.1947Ship maintenance, Balmain – 1960Elderly couple in street – c.1950Sunrise at Man O'War Steps - c. 1947Rosehill – c.1947Rosehill 2 – c.1947Dockworkers and Titlan crane – 1947Boys at play on waterfront 2 – c.1947Balmain – 1948Boys at play on waterfront 1 – c.1947Boy on ferry, Darling Harbour – c.1947Boys at play on waterfront 3 – c.1947Alexandria, Sydney – c.1949MLC Building, Martin Place, Sydney – c.1949 Lifesavers at Manly – 1959Sydney horse race crowd – 1964Migrants arriving in Sydney – 1966City at night from QVB tower looking north – c.1965Horseriders seen at low tide on the desolate north end of Cronulla – c.1949William Street, Sydney – 1966Sydney Harbour from 16,000 feet – 1966Harbour Bridge steelwork 2, Sydney – 1981The gap is closed on the segmented deck – c.1995Boys fishing under Pyrmont Bridge with afternoon light on the city – 1992Motorcyclist, Warringah Expressway, Sydney – 1971Cristo wraps the coastline, LIttle Bay, NSW – 1969Sydney Opera House afternoon light 2 – c.1977Sydney Harbour from 20,000 feet – 1992Harbour Bridge in fog – 1973Building Restoration Sydney – 1978Macquarie lighthouse and Pacific Ocean cliffs at dawn – 1993Sydney Cricket Ground from the Hill – 1963Manly Ferry and Unilever building, Circular Quay – 1958Harbour Bridge from west Rocks – 19788am traffic on Harbour Bridge – 1985Traffic on Sydney Harbour Bridge – c.1960Lady Bowlers, Waverton – c.1968State Office Block – 1960Sydney woman on electric suburban train – 1960Sunday at Store Beach – 1967Sabot dinghies at Vaucluse – 1962Ormond Street, Paddington – 1966Suburban detail, Paddington – 1968Morning sun over Elizabeth Bay – 1991The city at dusk from Mosman Bay – 1991Sydney construction – c.1962The Rocks district from Harrington Street – 1960Sealing roof joints – 1966Sydney Opera House aerial – 1966Winter sun on the Opera House – 1992Sydney Harbour – c.1992A dancing couple under western tower – c.1995Barney Kreft reaches out to guide a fascia panel rising towards tower head – c.1995Glebe Island bridge with full moon – 1997 Gladesville Bridge looking east – c.2001Chowder Bay fishermans huts – c.2001Pyrmont Bay fisherman – c.2001Sunrise on the roof shells – 1972Harbour Bridge steelwork 2, Sydney – 1981 Western Distributor 1979Western Distributor multiple 3, Sydney – 1979 Western Distributor forms 1, Sydney – 1979Ferry <em>North Head</em> and boys fishing, Circular Quay – 1976Mannequin factory 2, Sydney – 1974 Mannequin factory 5, Sydney – 1974 Kurnell – c.1948Placing roof section, Sydney Opera House – 1965Sun patterns within the Sydney Opera House – 1962Morning peak traffic on Harbour Bridge – 1959Darling Harbour and Pyrmont docks – c.1948Erskine Street wharf and Balmain ferry – c.1947White Bay power station – 1978Pyrmont docks with Naval Stores building – 1978Sydney and Circular Quay from Kirribilli – c.2001Summer dawn over Sydney from Kirribilli – 1993