From the 1940s when he went on the road hitchhiking with his camera and typewriter in tow until his death in 2010 Jeff Carter tirelessly honoured “ordinary Australians”. He documented and celebrated the battlers, itinerant bush workers, fruit pickers, fishermen, mill hands and other labourers capturing the mood of the country’s working classes. He also photographed Australia’s cities capturing the nascent coastal lifestyle that would later become a hallmark for Australian iconography.
He left behind one of Australia’s most remarkable and historically significant photographic archives- in all, more than 150,000 images of Australian life. Carter had authored and illustrated 20 books on rural, coastal and outback life. As a photojournalist his images and essays were featured in newspapers and local and international picture magazines. He also filmed, wrote and produced Wild Country, a popular and widely acclaimed award winning television series about Australia that was sold around the world. With his second wife and long time collaborator, author Mare Carter; he also established a popular educational wildlife refuge and park at Foxground in New South Wales.
In the early 1990s Carter began exhibiting his work for the first time, and its importance was quickly recognised by leading art galleries, museums and private collectors both in Australia and overseas.
Carter died aged 82 years, just prior to the opening of a major retrospective of his work, curated by Sandra Byron, for the State Library of New South Wales. The library acquired all of the works in the exhibition for its permanent collection and the show toured extensively throughout regional NSW in 2012 and 2013. To view the illustrated exhibition brochure click here.
This exhibition was accompanied by a documentary on Carter’s life and work Inland Heart: The photographs of Jeff Carter by award winning filmmaker Catherine Hunter. This draws together the themes and passions of a lifetime of photographic enquiry and includes his final road trip and interviews.
To order this DVD please email your request here.
In 2015 the National Library of Australia further added to its representation of Carter’s work by acquiring a very significant selection of Carter’s negatives, prints and documents. These works are in addition to its existing holdings which have already been digitized and can be viewed here