Collection Online

A hostile landscape
2003; printed 2004
from the Man about town series 2004

inkjet print
84.0 × 123.2 cm (image) 91.5 × 142.9 cm (sheet)
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds arranged by Loti Smorgon for Contemporary Australian Photography, 2004
© Brenda Croft/Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

In 1997, Brenda L. Croft was sorting through the material possessions of her recently deceased father. In an old shoebox she found a slide container with images taken of her father in the mid 1950s.

In 2003, Croft returned to these slides, reworking and enlarging some of them for this series. This photograph shows Croft’s father as a solitary figure in the urban environment of Melbourne in the 1950s. He appears as a poignant figure posed in a deserted landscape that seems to offer little in the way of human companionship.

Croft has always been interested in issues of identity, heritage and place and, in this highly personal series, gives the viewer a touching insight into issues connected with Australian culture in the 1950s. As she poetically writes of the images: ‘man about town. boy from the bush. Colour bar. Calibre. Coolabah. mid 1950s. Prosperity. Naivete. Optimism… the savage un-made. Unknown beauty. Unutterable…’.