Germany 1913 – Australia 2007
Aluminium ingots at Comalco 1965 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph
Wolfgang Sievers arrived in Melbourne in 1938, fleeing fascist Germany. He became one of the pre-eminent industrial and architectural photographers in Australia. Significant corporate clients included Alcoa, Comalco, Hamersley Iron, Shell and Vickers Ruwolt. In the 1950s he was commissioned by the then Department of Overseas Trade to help change Australia's image from one of sheep and wool to one of sophisticated industry and manufacturing. His work is imbued with a Modernist aesthetic he had learnt in Germany, together with a socialist belief in the inherent dignity of labour. His approach is overtly theatrical. He often photographed at night, isolating details with artificial light and posing workers for heightened effect.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra