David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

03 December 2013

VALE Martin Sharp : 1942-2013

In the mid 60s your correspondent was a pimply boarding school prisoner. Escape was through music : Hendrix, Cream, Wild Cherries, Loved Ones. A classmate brought in NME and Melody Maker and every so often one of us bought a record.

What a thrill the day my import copy of Cream's double album arrived by post. Wheels Of Fire. 
And what a cover, WOW! By the Australian artist Martin Sharp. First contact.

The front cover was a black and white drawing on silver. (Like the silver coated walls of the new National Gallery of Victoria.) Cool.

Then you open it. POW! The eyes have it! Schoolboy heaven.

Around the late 70s, I visited an exhibition by Martin Sharp at Tolarno Galleries in St Kilda. Martin was there throughout the show, open-house, working on a painting of Tiny Tim. I watched him for ages, full of admiration, but schoolboy fandom got in the way of saying hello.

In 1999, Linda Michael and I included one of Martin's Eternity works (Eternity, 1990) in an exhibition of painted words - word - at the MCA Sydney.

We placed it near a photo of Arthur Stace, another Sydney special being, writing the original version of Eternity.

Richard Neville, friend of Martin and fellow conspirator from the Oz days, published the following appreciation in yesterday's SMH.

Martin Sharp: Art, music and a mind-blowing voyage of discovery

Sydney Morning Herald (click here)
2 December 2013  

Bravo and Vale, Martin Sharp.

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