Peter Dombrovskis

Peter Dombrovskis

1945-1996

About

Peter Dombrovskis was born in 1945, in a World War II refugee camp in Wiesbaden, Germany, of Latvian parents. He emigrated to Australia in 1950 with his mother Adele, and they settled in Fern Tree, Tasmania. Growing up on the slopes of Mount Wellington inspired a profound love of nature. Dombrovskis received his first camera from his mother as a young boy in the 1960s. His love of nature, combined with a new love of photography, set the course for Peter’s life and career.
Frost On Snow Berry (Gaultheria Hispida) Leaves, Milles Track, June 1992, IPHF Permanent Collection

During his teenage years, he was inspired by Lithuanian-Australian pioneer, conservationist and photographer Olegas Truchanas, who also became a father figure to Dombrovskis. Most of his professional career was marked by self-published works including books, diaries, calendars, posters and cards.

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An extraordinary aspect about his work was that many of his photographs aided in the campaign that saved the Franklin River in Tasmania from being dammed. Some of Dombrovskis’ photographs have also been instrumental in the conservation of various other Tasmanian wild places. The pursuit of photography and wilderness are uneasy companions. We go to the wilds to reaffirm our place in the natural scheme of things, to be rejuvenated by contact with elemental forces and to be reminded that the civilized baggage with which we complicate our lives is perhaps not so important to our happiness as the advertising man would claim. Therefore, when my rucksack is already straining at the seams with the essentials of food, shelter and clothing, it seems folly indeed to add a metal box crammed with mechanical, optical and electrical gadgetry…On March 28, 1996, Dombrovskis died of a severe heart attack while photographing the Western Arthur Range in Tasmania’s remote southwest. His work is represented in many galleries, museums and private collections.

Frost On Snow Berry (Gaultheria Hispida) Leaves, Milles Track, June 1992, IPHF Permanent Collection