Peter Darren Moyle

I was ever so touched by this documentary, Painting with Light in a Dark World. This inspiring 2002 documentary by the talented director & filmmaker, Sascha Ettinger Epstein has left me wanting more of this man’s story and his brillant imagery.

It’s always a pleasure to be introduced to a new local photographer, particularly one so talented that has achieved much, sadly in the face of adversity and deprivation.  I’m talking about the late Peter Darren Moyle, who photographed the raw energy and craziness of the real underbelly of Sydney for over 10 years.

Moyle lived on the streets, around the Cross and Woolloomooloo areas whom like many homeless, created his makeshift home under bridges, in alleyways and squats.

Moyle arrived penniless in Sydney in the late 80’s, and at the time no other photographer had really captured the frontline of the inner-city darkness.

He was self taught and used a medium format camera (what looked like a Rolleiflex twin lens), shooting black and white film. In his own darkroom that existing due to ingeniously stealing electricity for his enlarger from streetlights, he went on to process his own film and create extraordinary images, and certainly left his mark.

Image by Peter Darren Moyle

“It’s killing me – seeing what I see day after day, it can f—ing stack up on you …..I know my job is almost complete and that’s fantastic. It means people are going to learn, they are going to see the truth. To get to the truth you must be one with your subject matter. That means shooting up smack, that means taking whores into your house, that means taking boys off the Wall.”   Peter Darren Moyle interview with the Herald in 2002

Image by Peter Darren Moyle

The NSW State Library began collecting Moyle’s photographs in 2001. Its curator of photography, Alan Davies, described him as “absolutely unique … someone who took his camera where no one else dared. Darren was a rough diamond and an absolute treasure.”

It’s well worth getting your hands on this inspiring documentary. The film followed Moyle from his tales of homelessness to his photographic success, culminating with an exhibition in Chippendale.

Peter Darren Moyle, 41, past away 5 March 2006

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