Arial photograph of a gathering of nuns with neatly pressed caps 

David MOORE (1927–2003)
Sisters of Charity, 1956
silver gelatin photograph
Bequest of Russell Mills, 2015
© Estate of David Moore


David Moore is one of Australia's most renowned photographers. Promoting the appreciation and importance of photography, he played an instrumental role in founding the Australian Centre for Photography in 1974.1

Commencing his professional photographic career as a commercial photographer, Moore worked for the likes of Russell Roberts and Max Dupain before leaving Australia to undertake photojournalism work from 1951 to 1958. As a freelance photojournalist, Moore undertook many of his now significant projects before being appointed as the Picture Editor for The Observer.1 Moore captured this boldly contrasting image while overseas in 1956. At first glance, it looks to be somewhat reminiscent of flowers or origami, until the more familiar forms of hands come into perspective. In the work, Moore has captured, from above, a group of nuns wearing traditional wimples. The tiled floor is juxtaposed with the purity, and confused order and direction, of the wimples. Moore captured the bold composition in the moment, as he did day-to-day in his profession as a photojournalist.

1. Jane Scott, Lisa Moore and Emma Mathews, 2006, David Moore: A vision, 1927–2003, a Monash Gallery of Art travelling exhibition, Monash Gallery of Art, pp. 4–6.