Starting in 1970, June Newton created own photographic works under the pseudonym Alice Springs. These have been exhibited regularly at the Helmut Newton Foundation since 2005, namely in “June’s Room.” This retrospective provides for the first time a comprehensive look at the four decades that span her work, presenting photographs from advertising and fashion as well as nudes and portraits.

Her own photographic oeuvre began with a bout of influenza suffered by Helmut Newton in Paris, 1970. June Newton had her husband show her how to handle the camera and light meter and in his place photographed an advertisement for the French cigarette brand Gitanes. The portrait of the smoking model would be the jumpstart of a new career. In the early 1970s, Alice Springs shot several campaigns for the French hair stylist Jean Louis David; the photographs appeared under her byline as full-page ads in renowned fashion magazines. 1974 saw the first Alice Springs cover image adorning French Elle.

By this time she had also received innumerable commissions for portraits, some of which have become iconic. The roster of artists, actors and musicians depicted by Alice Springs over the last 40 years reads like a “who’s who” of the international cultural scene on both sides of the Atlantic. Many portraits were magazine assignments from Paris to Los Angeles; others resulted from private initiative.

Alice Springs does more than document the appearance of celebrities and anonymous contemporaries; she captures their charisma, their aura. Her eye for people is mostly concentrated on people’s faces. Occasionally she narrowly frames her subjects in a half- or three-quarters’ length portrait, where the hands receive special attention as well. It might be that her deep knowledge of acting helps, how to simultaneously look at and beyond the human façade. This is particularly evident in her double portraits, in which the protagonists’ interaction is perfectly staged.

There is a certain sense of familiarity in her images; actually they oscillate between distance and intimacy. In her subtle portraits we encounter the haughty stance alongside natural self-confidence as well as the shy glance. Dramatic poses are seldom, and the process occurs without grand gestures on the part of the photographer. Her images are visual commentaries that interpret the photographed.


1923: born June Browne in Melbourne; training as actress, numerous engagements under the artist name June Brunell.

1947: meets Helmut Newton, who had recently opened a photo studio in Melbourne; they got married a year later.

1956: they travel through Europe and live in London and Paris, later again in Melbourne. Acting engagements for BBC and receives “Erik kuttner award” for best theatre actress.

1961: they move from Melbourne for the last time to Paris, first residing in rue Aubriot, later in rues de l’Abbé de l’Epée. June’s acting career ends due to the language barriers. She begins to study painting.

1964: the Newtons buy a house in Ramatuelle in the south of France near the Cote d’Azur, where they will always spend several months of the year.

1970: June stands in for Helmut Newton who is incapacitated by illness, for a commercial photo shoot in Paris. Thus begins her career as commercial photographer under the pseudonym Alice Springs. Her work includes advertisements such as Jean-Louis David as well as editorials in magazines like Dépêche Mode, Elle, Marie-Claire, Vogue, Nova, Mode internationale and fashion magazine.

1976: she begins to dedicate her work to portrait photography, publishing images in renowned magazines like Egoïste, Vanity Fair, Interview, Stern, Photo and passion. In addition, she oversees production of all books and exhibition catalogues of Helmut Newton as art director for almost three decades.??1978: first solo exhibition of her portraits in Amsterdam – the first of many to follow worldwide.

1981: the couple leave France and move to Monaco. Winter months are regularly spent in California, where June Newton photographs numerous Hollywood actors, directors as well as the hell’s angels.

1983: French publication of a volume of portrait photography. The volume is published three years later in the USA and five years later in Germany.

1995: production of the documentary film “Helmut by June” for the French television channel canal plus.

1998: swiss publication of the volume “us and them” by Helmut and June Newton, accompanied by an exhibition tour in several countries.

2004: June Newton’s autobiography is released by a German publishing house.

2004: opening of the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin which features their joint exhibition “us and them,” including June Newton’s portraits of her husband on his deathbed in Los Angeles. The new museum for photography will serve as a significant forum for her work as well.

Posted by : Amal Kiran Jana from Milan,at 05:02PM