Unguarded Moments follows Donegan’s 2013 exhibition Witness To The Mundane, looking for beauty in the pedestrian nature of people’s lives. In this exhibition of recent work, Donegan has wielded his documentary photography techniques to render the beauty he sees in the mundane aspects of daily life in Australia. This photography attempts to portray people lost in their own private thoughts in public spaces.
John Donegan: Artist Statement & Bio
Donegan has been a photojournalist since selling his first photograph to a newspaper aged 14, pinching himself as he wakes everyday that he is still paid to make photographs more than 30 years since that first sale.
He was inspired as a child to observe the minutiae of suburban life after discovering paintings like John Brack's Collins St 5PM, Jeffrey Smart's Cahill Expressway, and The Cricketers by Russell Drysdale. This desire to find beauty in the drudgery of daily life was strengthened reading Australian authors including David Malouf, George Johnston and Tim Winton whose ability to turn a tram journey; a bike ride or a swim into something magical was an inspiration.
John grew up in suburban Melbourne where he has returned recently to live for the fourth time. John is now intrigued by the art of portrait photography and enjoys using photography to celebrate the individual, although he is discovering that the perfect portrait is as elusive as the subject is unique.
Donegan’s career has taken him to live on three continents, visit 17 countries, and, most remarkably, to have lived in three Australian states. He is constantly humbled by the access into people’s lives he is afforded simply by dint of his photography.