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
John Donegan was once driven to make photographs by the chaos of his madness.
Now he is driven by a sense of peace, belonging and calmness.
John Donegan was moved as a child to observe the minutiae of suburban life by the writings of Australian authors like David Malouf and George Johnston whose ability to turn a tram journey; a bike ride or a swim into something magical was an inspiration.
He sold his first photograph to a newspaper aged 14 and still pinches himself everyday that photography provides him with a living 40 years later.
John grew up in suburban Melbourne but his career has taken him to live on three continents, visit 20 countries, and 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.
John began his professional career as a cadet photographer at The Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne in 1985 where he was promoted to Sport Photographer of The Herald at the age of 21.
In 1988, John relocated to London where he worked as a stringer for The Evening Standard, Associated Press, The Express, The Sunday Correspondent et al.
John moved to Jerusalem in 1991 on a retainer for The Guardian and stringing for Associated Press covering Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza.
Returning to Australia, John returned to the now-merged Herald Sun as a photographer and took over as Picture Editor in 1996. John won two Walkley Awards for his photography whilst at the Herald Sun.
John joined The Age in 1998 taking over as Picture Editor of The Sunday Age in 1999 and moving to the role of Chief Sport Photographer in 2006.
John moved to Sydney in 2009 for personal reasons, taking on the role of primary carer of his three young children. During this period he served on the Walkley Advisory Board and as a judge and curator for the Head On Photo Festival.
In 2012, John broke new ground as a multimedia reporter for radio station 702 ABC Sydney providing photography and reporting for the station’s website and live reporting on air.
John remains as enthused and energised by photography today as he was on the 19 August 1985 when he walked nervously through the brass and glass doors of The Herald & Weekly Times and, after 35 years as a photojournalist, he has turned his camera to the native landscapes around the water ways of Yorta Yorta country.