Under the pseudonym of Alice Springs, June Newton made her own career as fashion photographer with a work influenced by her husband Helmut Newton. We review the work of the woman behind the iconic photographer, on the occasion of the new book published by TASCHEN and the exhibition opened in Berlin this month in her honor.
Cover of the book ‘Alice Springs. The Paris MEP Show’
Before she met Helmut Newton, June Browne (her stage name was June Brunell) earned her living as a theater actress in her native Melbourne. It was there, making model in the Newton’s studio, when the couple felt a spark in 1947. They married a year later, and she decided to leave the performing arts.
June Newton began his career as a photographer unintentionally by chance. In 1970, her husband fell ill on the eve of an important commercial photo shoot with the cigarette brand Gitanes. In this situation, June grabbed the camera and took care of it, transmitting all the know-how that Helmut had taught her.
From there, June Newton became the artistic director of her husband and started her own personal career as a photographer under the pseudonym of Alice Springs. Her work obviously received the influence of Helmut Newton, with a strong presence of black and white and an absolute sense of sophistication.
Alice Springs focused on portraiture. She has photographed such famous figures as Nicole Kidman, Luciano Pavarotti, Karl Lagerfeld, Diana Vreeland or Yves Saint Laurent, and also other renowned photographers like Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe or her own husband.
Alice Springs’ Portraits: Pat Cleveland (1970) and Robert Mapplethorpe (1978)Alice Springs’ Portraits: Yves Saint Laurent (1978) and Dépêche Mode (1971)
The new book published by TASCHEN, titled Alice Springs. The Paris MEP Show, includes not only her portraits of famous people but also her series along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, where she documented the californian punk and hip-hop scene in the 80s. The price of the book is €39,90, it’s available in selected bookstores and in the website of TASCHEN.
All photographs gathered in the book are those that were exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) in Paris last year, and are exposed currently at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin.