Ingeborg Tyssen: Photographs
12 May 2012 - 24 Jun 2012
Ingeborg Tyssen (1945-2002) was one of Australia's leading photographers and a major figure in Australian photographic history.
Ingeborg Tyssen's works have the rare ability of being able to acutely observe people within their environment. Her earliest photographs, taken in the city streets, fun parks, and suburbs of '70s Australia and America, radiate a gentle surrealism mixed with urban isolation.
Tyssen arrived in Australia in 1957 as a child from her native Holland. She initially found it difficult to connect with the new language and landscape, and this feeling of dislocation persisted in her art. During the 1970s Tyssen became interested in photography while documenting her travels in New Guinea, Europe and Africa. She became committed to pursuing photography and attended a photography class at the WEA given by John Williams, who became her husband. In 1975 she was a co-founder of the Photographers Gallery in South Yarra.
Tyssen continued to study extensively, completing two Postgraduate degrees. She combined personal work with teaching. In 1995 the Art Gallery of New South Wales presented a mid career survey of her work and she continued to exhibit in commercial galleries and museums in Australia and abroad until she died as a result of a motor accident in 2002. In her obituary, critic Robert McFarlane wrote: “With Tyssen's death, Australia has lost one of the most talented photographers from the postwar generation…The originality and lack of ego in these images will ensure their enduring place in the history of the medium.”
Image: Ingeborg Tyssen, Ryde Pool (detail), Sydney 1981.