I was absolutely honoured to have the Chief of Navy open the Art of Navy exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum to-day
The people I have to thank for this wonderful project and not necessarily in this order are Rear Admiral Mark Hammond who had a hunch; Malcolm Moir, a long time friend and Head of Foundation and Development, Australian National Maritime Museum; Alexandra Gaffikin, Head of Design and Interpretation who smiled when I showed her the original works and told me the reason - "not at all what I was expecting and I love it..." An absolute delight to work with Alex. The Navy team who were given responsibility for the delivery of the project - Captain Charlie Stephenson and especially Commander Natasha Burney. Neither Charlie nor Natasha had previously worked in the arts or with an artist and yes, we had some difficult discussions. However I couldn't have asked for better support in the end. I learnt much about Navy personnel that has changed my mind about those who enter the defence forces and serve our nation.
And last but most importantly the great creative team I worked with and who now will receive the accolades they deserve. Poet Andy Singh who gave me the narrative for the works; filmmaker Larry Meltzer who made a superb 8 minute film the Making of the Art of Navy that is accompanying the exhibition; Graham Maslen and Steven Smedley book publisher and graphic designer respectively, Dr Gary Willisn who wrote an erudite critical essay on the work and its themes. Donald Robertson, book editor who was late for the opening and thus missed all the photo opportunities whilst making a huge difference to the book content. At least we made the book deadline, Donald Robertson! Stefan Kahn, exhibition design and last and most importantly, the artwork fabricators, Flash Graphics and in particular owner, Fredrik Uden who turned my photographs into sculptural artworks!!
More details at the Art of Navy web site. The exhibition runs to October 30, 2019.