It's only rock’n’roll… but I like it

Collecting contemporary music from New South Wales is a developing priority for the Library. 61 new photographs of NSW-based musicians, dating from 1980 through to 2019, have now been added to our catalogue.

The images are all by the Sydney photographer Wendy McDougall, who in 2018 was the recipient of the inaugural Australian Women in Music Award (AWMA) for Best Photographer. Her career, photographing Australian and international musicians, spans over 40 years and she has captured striking images of iconic Australian music acts including: INXS, Richard Clapton, the Church, Max Sharam, Nathan Cavaleri, and Ocean Alley.

Wendy started documenting the music scene at the age of 17, and found herself in the rock’n’roll industry:

at a time when having a camera in your hand meant crowds at the local pub would happily allow you to get to the front of the stage and you could shoot the whole gig. No questions asked. It was the late '70s and the Australian music industry was yet to really take off. My first paid photo was for The Angels, one of the biggest Australian bands at the time. Once l saw my photograph in print, I knew this crazy idea for a job was for me.

Wendy's photographs of New South Wales musicians, 1980–2019,  can be viewed online in our catalogue.

In 2019 Wendy published a selection of her rock’n’roll photos in It's only rock 'n' roll but I like it ...: the music photography of Wendy McDougall.

Bhagavad Guitars, Sydney, New South Wales, 1991
View collection item detail