In 1970, the photographer Helmut Newton found himself bedridden with influenza. Missing the chance to shoot a campaign for French cigarette brand Gitanes, Helmut sent his wife June in his place, a former actress with no photographic training.
The assignment was a success and so began the career of Alice Springs, the pseudonym June adopted from a town in her native Australia. Forty years on, days after her 87th birthday, the first retrospective of June’s photography ‘Alice Springs’ opened on Friday at the Berlin-based Helmut Newton Foundation. Despite her close working relationship with Helmut from their marriage in 1948 until his death in 2004, Alice Springs’ photography is of an entirely different style to her husband’s. Sensitive and soul-searching, the connection between the photographer and her subject is exposed to great effect in the many works that have been regularly exhibited at the Helmut Newton Foundation since 2005, mainly in a part of the gallery named ‘June’s Room’. The retrospective offers the chance to view 250 works from the past four decades that span advertising, fashion, nude and portrait photography and is accompanied by a trilingual (German/English/French) publication from TASCHEN.