Chris Donaldson

Chris Donaldson is a professional music teacher and an exhibiting art photographer. He grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches in a family which held music and the visual arts in high regard. His mother was a painter and his father a keen amateur pianist, so an instilled love of photography and piano was only natural.

Early lessons in piano gave way to the call of a surfboard, and serious study only recommenced in Chris’ early twenties. It was around this time that he decided that teaching music was to be his chosen profession.

During the 1970s, weekly lessons with Dulcie Holland encouraged within Chris an abiding love of theory, harmony, history and composition.

Following a move to the Southern Highlands in 1980, Chris taught full-time in local schools and his home studio. Musical composition, by necessity, had to take a back seat with only very small works and arrangements for his students being written. However, the desire to compose remained.

Now, having taught private music lessons for over 50 years (and having held 20 photographic exhibitions during that time), Chris is delighting in having both the time and opportunity to compose.

Chris says:

Both music and photography rely on tonal balance, light and shadow, unity and variety, rhythm, and a clear sense of form - however, music moves invisibly through time whereas photography is visible and frozen in time. To me they are both magic!

I carry ideas of composition and structural relationships from music into photography and then back again. There is a saying ‘No man can serve two masters’, but I try to make them dance together.

See all works by Chris in our shop