Skip to main content

Bells steps, c. 1975

by John Witzig

There are fewer than a hundred people in Bells steps but the composition is similar to that of a Salgado picture of gold-mine workers in Brazil. There’s a lot of tangled hair here and a general feeling of twistiness contributed by the low stems and branches; one-third of the picture is vegetation. Obviously it was hard to get a comfortable seat on the dune – the spectators are perched, slipping uncomfortably down, and it was clearly cold, but as far as the image – which would make an excellent jigsaw puzzle – is concerned, the people are distributed in pleasing clumps around the steps.

© National Portrait Gallery 2019
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196
The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.