photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
At first glance this image looks like a black and photograph of a (somewhat staged) picnic but something is definitely not quite right! The faces of the people look a bit too smooth and the picnic cloth appears to be hovering above the grass, rather than sitting on it.
On closer inspection you can see that the photograph has been enhanced with paint. The brush strokes are clearly visible in the detail of the woman’s face. In fact all the main elements of the scene have been highlighted, although some elements such as the cable knit jumper on the man second from the left have received a lighter treatment than the face below.
This photographic print is an advertisement for Arnott’s Biscuits and the unnatural look is probably deliberate so that viewer does look closely and notes the brand of biscuit being shared!
Post by Lynne McNairn, Digital Media
Photography: Arnott’s Biscuits, c 1940
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