About The Photographer
‘Magic happens when the photograph goes beyond the obvious and becomes something else as well… and that something is of course the art of photography.’
Born in England in 1951 and given a Kodak ‘Box Brownie’ camera on his seventh birthday, self taught Richard Crawley has been making photographs ever since. A fractured arm at the age of eleven resulted in the benevolent short term loan from his father of a 35mm camera - and consequent photographic addiction. This was exacerbated by the discovery of Creative Camera magazine in the late 60’s and entry to the extraordinary worlds of Paul Strand, André Kertesz, Diane Arbus, Bruce Davidson, Josef Koudelka and many others.
An inextinguishable flame was lit that only grew stronger on emigrating to Australia in 1973. Initially Crawley worked in the rock music industry photographing many acts. His shot of Mick Jagger (Melbourne 1973) has become worldwide the iconic image of the singer live on stage with The Rolling Stones. Two years later an exhibition St Kilda Photographs was shown at the National Gallery of Victoria. Crawley additionally worked for the Oxford University Press until the mid 1980’s illustrating many books. He has freelanced ever since.
In 1999 he published the book 'The State of Common Life', supported by a grant from the Victorian Government. Fiona Christie, Curator and Art Critic wrote, ‘The material is both delicate and robust and I think really touches the heart of rural life - not in a nostalgic way but in a direct and unselfconscious way which rings true. The images capture a sense of inclusiveness and tolerance which seems to be constantly receding into memory… anyone and everyone can relate to the subtle poetry captured in 'The State of Common Life.’ Over the following three years an exhibition (of the same name) toured to twelve Victorian regional and metropolitan galleries.
In late 2002, invited by Alan and Maria Myers, Richard Crawley spent an extraordinary 18 months on a methodical yet meandering photographic odyssey in and around the small Victorian western district town of Dunkeld (population 400), and the surrounding countryside. This resulted in the successful hardcover publication ‘A Dunkeld Portfolio’.
Of the photographic experience Crawley says, ‘If photography is as much a reflection of myself as it is of an objective reality, then I don’t rely on and use the camera as much as I do my heart, mind and soul’.
Richard Crawley’s photographs have been widely published in periodicals and books, and his work is held in private collections and galleries throughout Australia and overseas.
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