Axel Poignant was Anglo-Swedish. He arrived in Australia as a British 'boy' immigrant in 1926. His formative years as a photographer were spent in Perth from 1931 to 1942. He photographed Aboriginal people on Canning Stock route in 1942 and first visited the Northern Territory in 1945-46, as a cameraman on The Overlanders. In 1952 he camped on the west bank of the Liverpool River and within a short time some 60 to 70 Aboriginal people were encamped around him. As well as taking photos, Axel Poignant also kept a diary. Few of his photographs were published before the late 1960s when they were used in support of Aboriginal Land Rights Claims, but since then he has gained wide acclaim and had a series of major exhibitions.
Poignant, Axel, Axel Poignant, Kunapipi, 13(3), 1991.