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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Peter Dombrovskis

1996
Liz Dombrovskis

duo-tone print on photographic paper (sheet: 62.1 cm x 52.5 cm, image: 33.9 cm x 30.4 cm)

Peter Dombrovskis (1945-1996), photographer, was born of Latvian parents in a refugee camp in Wiesbaden at the end of World War 2. He immigrated to Australia at the age of five, and started taking photographs encouraged by his widowed mother, a keen hiker. Strongly guided as a teenager by Olegas Truchanas, credited as his 'mentor', he published his first calendar of Tasmanian wilderness photographs in 1977. A photograph he took in 1979, Rock Island Bend, was massively reproduced and circulated as the signature image in the Australia-wide NO DAMS campaign, which culminated in 1983 with the High Court's ruling that the Commonwealth Government was entitled to prevent construction of the dam. His photographs, widely published in the form of calendars, books, posters and other merchandise, have contributed profoundly to notions of the pristine environmental character of Southwest Tasmania. Dombrovskis died while photographing in the Western Arthur Range in southwest Tasmania.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2005
© Liz Dombrovskis

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Liz Dombrovskis

Peter Dombrovskis (age 51 in 1996)

Subject professions

Activism

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984
Sydney city (Patrick White and Tom Uren, Hiroshima Day demonstration), 1984

The activist A-list

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

Dr Sarah Engledow examines a number of figures in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery who were pioneers or substantial supporters of the seminal Australian environmental campaigns of the early 1970s and 1980s.

Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis
Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis
Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis
Rock Island Bend. Franklin River, South West Tasmania, 1979 by Peter Dombrovskis

Written in Water

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2005

Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis, photographers and conservationists, shared a love of photography and exploring wilderness areas of Tasmania.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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