Axel POIGNANT, (Abandoned gold mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia) Enlarge 1 /1


England 1906 – 1986

  • Australia 1926-1956

(Abandoned gold mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia) 1936 Place made: Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: 31.1 h x 39.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1984
Accession No: NGA 84.139

Arriving in Australia from England in 1926, Poignant moved from a studio-based portraiture practice in Perth to a more socially committed documentary approach in the 1930s – in part inspired by the photographers of the American Farm Security Administration whose work highlighted the plight of the rural poor. Poignant visited the gold-mining town of Kalgoorlie in thethe Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia in 1936. This concentrated area of large gold mines is often referred to as the Golden Mile, and is considered by some to be the richest square mile of earth on the planet.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra