“Dupain’s people photographs of the 1930s and 1940s, taken on Sydney’s most popular beaches, Bondi and Manly, show Australians in the prime of their relationship with their beaches. Money was tight and the beach was free, a relaxing sense of propriety was allowing more freedom in dress and conduct, work hours were accommodating and electronic entertainment hadn’t begun to keep youth indoors. It was an environment rich with possibilities for Dupain, at ease on the beach both as an attractive athlete and a photographer nurturing an inner voice which, he wrote, would spontaneously ‘call out …. and behold, there [the picture] is’.
In a time when the outback dominated intellectual concepts of Australian identity, Dupain was photographing a beach mythology far more real to most Australians than the wide dry spaces of the inland. Few Australians lack light infused memories of a beach and long lost hours spent between cool, turbulent water and warm, quiet sand.”
Jill White, Dupain’s Beaches, Chapter & Verse, 2000, p. 74