Monday 24 September 2018

Local farmer's photographs shaped the world's view of Australia

Ernest Lund Mitchell worked as a photographer in New South Wales and Queensland before settling in Perth. He became one of Western Australia's leading photographers, rising to the position of photographer to the State Government in the 1920s. His images were widely used to advertise Australia internationally and in many instances shaped the world's view of Western Australia. His photos continue to be used today.

In 1932, during the Great Depression, Ernest closed his photography business in Perth and moved to his largely unestablished farm near Five Gums in the Carnamah district. He farmed locally until 1946 and his former property was subsequently owned by the Bodycoat and now the Walton family.

The life, photographs and impact of Ernest has been extensively researched by archivist and historian Dr Joanna Sassoon, who has produced the award-winning book Agents of Empire: How E. L. Mitchell's Photographs Shaped Australia.

Joanna will be giving a free talk on Ernest, his photos and time farming as part of the Harvest Festival in Carnamah on Saturday afternoon 6 October 2018. The talk "E. L. Mitchell - Carnamah farmer, famous photographer" will begin at 2:15pm and is being held at The Bank Gallery Space, across the road from our museum.

A second free heritage talk "Bold Scheme: Ready-Made Farms of Carnamah, Winchester & Coorow" is being given on the same day by Andrew Bowman-Bright at 3:30pm. Our museum will be open the entire afternoon.

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