photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
This photograph of lifesavers using their reel and line during a surf carnival at Manly was created by David Mist for his 1969 publication, Sydney: a book of photographs.
The photographer has used the repeated motif of the lifesavers’ raised arms as a compositional element to frame the face of the man at the head of the line. The dynamic, grainy, almost abstract shapes in the foreground are balanced by the sharp focus of his portrait subject. This photograph appeared in the book as part of a montage of surf livesaving images, captioned:
… to unite on the sand.
According Surf Life Saving New South Wales:
The origins of Surf Life Saving New South Wales, and indeed Australia, can be traced back to the actions of Mr William Gocher at Manly Beach in September 1902, defying the law of the time by bathing during prohibited hours (daylight). His and similar actions by other people forced the recognition of daylight bathing and the pastime of surfing became part of our national culture.
Post by Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photography by David Mist
© All rights reserved