Portraits of Artists

It was shortly after a six month stint working as Martin Sharp’s studio assistant during Martin’s preparations for his first solo exhibition that I developed an interest in photography. It was 1965.

So when Sharp left for the UK I formed my own photographic studio, working in advertising, fashion and theatre.

When Sharp then returned to Australia in 1969 he invited me to join him and a group of other artists in ‘The Yellow House,’ an artist’s co-op in the old Clune Galleries in Victoria Road, Potts Point, Sydney.

In the maelstrom of battle on 15 April 1917, former gold miner Thomas Edwin Guilmartin and another 11th Battalion soldier were sent up to the front line with a supply of grenades, or “bombs”, to help their A Company comrades hold a machine gun post.

It was one of many Australian positions near the village of Lagnicourt in Northern France under attack by a vastly superior German force. The machine gun crew fought to their last bullet and last grenade before being overrun by the enemy.

He may have been stranger from the other side of the world, but when Joseph Jenkins died alone and in agony in the Spring of 1917, the Deputy Mayor of a small town in northern France rallied local residents to his graveside.

Private Jenkins died of an untreated illness as a prisoner of war in a German military hospital in Maubeuge on June 18, 1917. The town had been under German occupation since its capture in September 1914.