Cultural relativity as exchange : J.W. Lindt’s 'bush character and Aboriginal' from 'The Grafton Album', circa 1872

Garnons-Williams, Victoria (2015) Cultural relativity as exchange : J.W. Lindt’s 'bush character and Aboriginal' from 'The Grafton Album', circa 1872. In Maxwell, Elizabeth Anne & Croci, Josephine (Eds.) Shifting Focus: Colonial Australian Photography 1850-1920. Australia Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd, North Melbourne, Australia, pp. 100-111.

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Abstract

J.W.Lindt’s Colonial man and Aborigine image from the GRAFTON ALBUM: “On chemistry and optics all does not depend, art must with these in triple union blend” (text from J.W. Lindt’s photographic backing card)

In this paper, I follow an argument that Lindt held a position in his particular colonial environment where he was simultaneously both an insider and an outsider and that such a position may be considered prerequisite in stimulating exchange. A study of the transition of J.W. Lindt in Grafton, N.S.W. in the 1860s from a traveller to a migrant and subsequently to a professional photographer, as well as Lindt’s photographic career, which evolved through strategic action and technical approaches to photography, bears witness to his cultural relativity.

One untitled photograph from this period of work constructs a unique commentary of Australian colonial life that illustrates a non-hegemonic position, particularly as it was included in one of the first albums of photographs of Aborigines that Lindt gifted to an illustrious person (in this case the Mayor of Grafton). As in his other studio constructions, props and backdrops were arranged and sitters were positioned with care, but this photograph is the only one in the album that includes a non-Aborigine in a relationship to an Aborigine. An analysis of the props, technical details of the album and the image suggests a reconciliatory aspect that thwarts the predominant attitudes towards Aborigines in the area at that time.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 57557
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: photography, colonial australia, migrant experience
ISBN: 9781925003727
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS (190500) > Lens-based Practice (190503)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright This edition. Anne Maxwell & Josephine Croci 2015. The copyright in each essay belongs to its author.
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2013 03:17
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2015 15:06

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