Photographic print, fashion, black and white, mounted on card, Moya shoe publicity, model Sandi Mitchell with shoe and gun, photograph by Bruno Benini, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1970
The pin holes in the corners of this vintage photographic print indicate that the photographer, Bruno Benini, had chosen to showcase this particular print (along with others) on the black felt boards mounted on the entrance foyer walls of his 6 McKillop Street studio in Melbourne.
Taken in 1970, the shot features model Sandi Mitchell in cloche cap with Moya shoe and flintlock pistol. The pistol had been borrowed by the Benini¬?s from a local gun supplier, just for use during the photo shoot.
Like so many of Benini¬?s images, it is much more than a simple image of a shoe. Styled by Bruno¬?s wife, Hazel Benini, a fashion publicity artist, it reflects and evokes the era of James Bond and Doctor Zhivago. With an eye for detail and a penchant for the close cropped shot, the Benini¬?s, together with the model, have created an aura of mystery around Moya shoes for newspaper publicity. The photograph's power and presence comes from it's beautiful composition, play of light and shade, and unusual juxtaposition of elements.
This and many more fashion images form part of the Bruno Benini photography archive which was acquired with funding assistance from the Australian Government through the National Cultural Heritage Account in early 2009. The print was displayed in the Creating the look: Benini and fashion photography exhibition (31 July 2010 - 18 April 2011).
Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, 2011
This object is part of the Bruno Benini photography archive which was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum with the assistance of the Australian Government's National Cultural Heritage Account in 2009.
If Bruno Benini particularly liked a shot he'd taken, he would make a print or as Hazel Benini recalled, 'create a blow-up and then put it up on his studio wall'. The walls of the studio foyer were covered with these, mostly 20 x 24 inch, prints. Some of the prints were damaged over the years and thrown out, however many remain, with corner pin holes intact. This is one of those prints.
The Benini archive contains photographs showing how the Benini's displayed these prints in the foyer of the studio.