The story behind the image - four little Tiwi

This is the second post in the series "the story behind the image". All the images in the series are
featured in the Josef Lebovic Gallery Catalogue of Heide's work, which you can see on my website.

From the catalogue
16.| |Four Little Tiwis, Bathurst Island,| 1988/1990.| Vintage silver gelatin photograph, signed and dated "88” in ink on image lower right, titled, signed and dated in ink verso, 46 x 61cm. Slight scuffing and soiling to image upper left, minor creases to edges.| $11, 000|
Similar image illustrated in Smith, Portrait of a People: The Tiwi of Northern Australia, 2008, p21.

 

From the catalogue
17.| |Five Little Tiwis, Bathurst Island,|1988.|Vintage silver gelatin photograph, signed and dated “’88” in ink on image lower right, titled, signed and dated in pencil on backing verso, 24.1 x 34cm. Laid down on board.| $6,600|
Illustrated in Smith, Tiwi: The Life and Art of Australia’s Tiwi People, 1990, p214.

The Story behind the image - Four Little Tiwi
The shots were taken in 1988, which was my longest trip; almost three months. I was walking towards Gerardine's place when I spotted these little ones sitting on an old Pukamani Pole. They were just about to run away. To keep them there a little longer, I askedthem "Can you count? Who can count?", and thats when I took the shot of 5 Little Tiwi. Moments later they broke into laughter, and thats how 4 Little Tiwi was made.
The light was not good under the Mango trees. I had to open the aperture wide and use a slow shutter speed. The film in my camerra was 400 ASA. Flash was never an option for me. It changes everything including people, who are suddenly more aware of the camera.
You are probably wondering why I have include 5 Little Tiwi. Besides the fact that they were taken during the same "shoot", I wanted to explain the reasons why the prices differ so much. 4 Little Tiwi is generally regarded as my "signature image", and has sold more limited edition prints than any other Tiwi image. Although both are vintage silver gelatin photographs, 4 Little Tiwi is unmounted and very much larger.

To Purchase images from the Catalogue.
Please contact the Josef Lebovic Gallery on 0296634848, email josef@joseflebovicgallery.com or visit the Lebovic Gallery website.

 

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