Archive for August, 2011

Our Supporters

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy



Maggie Diaz, One-way Ticket

Mining Exchange 12 Lydiard St Nth Ballarat BIFB

Opening Event – 20th August 6-8pm Mining Exchange

2 Floor talks scheduled:

Maggie Diaz – Sunday the 21st of August at 2pm

Gwen De Lacy, Curator – Sunday the 4th of September at 2pm

Special thanks our exhibition team and supporters:

Tiffaney Bishop – Fine Art Prints and restoration

CPL Services, Darren and Carlene Rokahr – Type C Prints

David Amos, Master Framer

Jenny Lindstedt, Goanna Graphics

Madeleine Say, Susan Long and all at The State Library

DIGIWORLD, Latrobe Street Melbourne

Arvo Tava, Hanging specialist – ‘He’s quite superb isn’t he!’ Maggie Diaz

Cameron Stephen – Interim Chairperson BIFB for scanning and tech support

Jeff Moorfoot, Director of BIFB Esther Gyorki and ALL the wonderful volunteers at BIFB


Ali Mohammed, Trudy Schuringa, Fiona Stewart, Wendy Joseph and


And FINALLY Richard and Matilda xoxo

One-way Ticket

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy

When Maggie Diaz left Chicago in 1961, it was on a whim.  Her marriage to Australian graphic artist, Clem Fraser was over and as a divorce gift he gave her a one-way ticket to Australia “to meet his family.”

Wedding Day c1959

Strangely she accepted.  Diaz was impressed by the image of the ship, ‘The Canberra’ on the brochure and she had seen a spread in Life Magazine featuring indigenous Australians and was intrigued.  Known as Maggie Besson Fraser, she immediately started doing the rounds of ad agencies. Things were a little desperate… she certainly did not like sleeping on her ex mother-in-law’s couch!

One-way Ticket focuses on the first 20 years of Diaz as an artist and commercial photographer. It features the earliest (thought lost) images of children playing war in the back streets of Chicago, the illustrious Tavern Club of Chicago and the Lower North Center – a housing project documented for the City of Chicago; it was a place where young women were taught to sew and present themselves ‘appropriately’.

Pearls and Gloves, Lower North Center

Children Play War, 1950s

I had been through some terrible times in my life.  I worked in a steel mill as a teenager during the WWII and then factories, a bakery, a domestic help and a show-girl in a Magic Show.  By my early 20s I knew that I wanted to live a creative existence.  I was a little psychotic in those days and it was lucky I survived at all…  Photography was something I found I could earn an income from and this has been my life.

I was very curious about coming to Australia – it was an opportunity.  I felt like taking my chances to see if I could survive.  My life was so absurd in some ways, that I didn’t really take the decision that seriously. I was so absorbed in my own views (literally), I really wondered if I could do anything.  Photography kept me from being lazy.  It gave me a reason to go out; my imagination was wonderful and even though I made a mess out of a lot of things, photography made me feel that I could be sensitive and intelligent.


Maggie, late 50s by Clem Fraser

Diaz has never returned to the USA because in her words, “I never had the loot!”

9 days till opening!

18 Days till bifb

Posted in Uncategorized on August 2, 2011 by Gwendolen De Lacy
Elephant Joy, Luna Park 1960s

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