Rose Simmonds: Queensland pictorial photographer

7 October 2006 – 25 February 2007

Rose Simmonds’s photographs of the 1930s are characteristic of the Pictorial mode of photography that favoured painterly, crafted finishes. The Pictorialists sought to elevate photography to the status of an ‘art form’, and engaged with trends and stylistic treatments prevalent in painting.

The lazy sweep of river in Simmonds’s (River scene) recalls similar subjects by painters Arthur Streeton (1867–1943) and Elioth Grüner (1882–1939). Simmonds’s The way thro is likewise reminiscent of the forest scenes of French Barbizon painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875).

As camera technology developed, Simmonds explored the effects of atmosphere and light on surfaces in the manner of Impressionist painters. Works such as Sunrise at Windemere present a study of the effects of light on the Australian bush and render the atmosphere palpable, in a similar way to Impressionist paintings by Claude Monet.