Saturday, October 21, 2017

Oz Fun Facts, continued



Additional comments by moi.

The WWII propaganda poster too terrifying for Australia:

At the height of World War II, two-thirds of Australians believed rival Japanese forces were primed to invade, and wartime Prime Minister John Curtin grimly predicted "it is beyond our capacity to meet an attack of the weight the Japanese could launch". The notorious poster He's Coming South fanned these fears, and was deemed so damaging to national morale it was banned in Queensland and Melbourne. But though Sydney Harbour was raided by Japanese submarines in May 1942, the belief we narrowly escaped invasion is "one of the more persistent furphies" of the war. Curtin knew as much, but played on the scare campaign's propaganda value.

Additional comment:

Norman Lindsay (1879 – 1969) is one of Australia’s most famous artists. He was also an, etcher, sculptor, writer, editorial cartoonist and scale modeler. His home at Faulconbridge, now a museum, in the Blue Mountains is open to the public, has many of his art works and sculptures and is well worth a drive and a visit. The grounds, with his concrete sculptures, are wonderful.

Lesser known these days is that during World War 1, Lindsay was recruited as an artist to create recruitment and propaganda posters. I have previously written about that aspect in Bytes, at:

The posters are emotional and it is said that the heroic ANZAC portrayed in many of his recruitment posters bears a marked resemblance to photographs of his brother Reg, who was killed in 1916 whilst fighting in France.

Some examples:


Camels devolve from desert explorers to desert scourge:

In the 19th century, Australian explorers raced discover the outback's potential riches. Horses were no good for the job — but camels were perfect. They were first introduced to Australia from the Canary Islands in 1840, and a beast named Harry is believed to have been the first to accompany an expedition, in 1846. (Midway through the journey Harry lurched, causing his rider and expedition leader John Ainsworth Horrocks to shoot himself in the hand and face.) Their numbers exploded in the late 1800s, but died off in the 1900s as they were replaced by motor vehicles. (These camels are pictured in Birdsville, Queensland, in 1926.) Huge numbers of feral camels — an estimated 750,000 in 2013 — still roam across Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland, causing terrible damage to infrastructure and the environment. 

Additional comment:

From Wikipedia:
By 2008, it was feared that Central Australia's feral camel population had grown to about one million and was projected to double every 8 to 10 years. Camels are known to cause serious degradation of local environmental and cultural sites particularly during dry conditions. A AU$19 million management program was funded in 2009 and upon completion in 2013, the feral population was estimated to have been reduced to around 300,000.

A prospector riding a camel which held a world record for distance travelled without water (600 miles), 1895

Afghan cameleer escorts Mrs Walter Lawrence Silver on the wallaby track, ca. 1904

Horse and camel team, Cloncurry, ca. 1904

Interesting fact:
Live camels are occasionally exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, and Malaysia, where disease-free wild camels are prized as . . . a delicacy. Australia's camels are also exported as breeding stock for Arab camel racing stables, and for use in tourist venues in places such as the United States. Exports to Saudi Arabia where camel meat is consumed began in 2002.

Sydney sisters among the first women permitted to cut men's hair:

Film distribution and production company Australasian Films was pivotal in establishing the local film industry, and Sydney's Pitt Street as its precinct. There, in 1927, underneath the company's Simpson House offices, two of the first female men's barbers worked in a barbershop run by their father, Jack House. This was something of a big deal: men's barbershops were (and still are) viewed as places only men should work at and attend. ("Women barbers are unreliable and erratic, as most women are in work," opined a male hairdressing bigwig in 1922.) One of the sisters, Dolly, went on to marry a young movie cameraman named Bill Tresis. Australasian Films and Union Theatres endured to become the foundation for Greater Union and Event Cinemas. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrated with artists' vivid collaboration:

The idea of a bridge spanning from Dawes Point to the northern shore of Port Jackson was first floated by convict and noted architect Francis Greenway in 1815. After countless years of planning and proposals, and eight years of construction, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened on Saturday, March 19, 1932. This poster advertising the celebration, one of the most enduring Australian images of the early 20th century, was actually a compromise. Joint winners of a competition to design the artwork, commercial artist Arthur Whitmore and graphic designer Douglas Annand, were invited to collaborate on the final design, incorporating elements of their competition entries. Whitmore is credited with the illustration of the people in the foreground. 

Additional comments:

Some more Sydney Harbour Bridge artworks . . 

Sensational Sydney by Lisa Lorenz

Grace Cossington Smith, inset, in the garden of her Turramurra home, and one of her most celebrated works, The Bridge in-curve, which was rejected from an exhibition the year she completed it but it is now considered one of the finest works of Australian modern art.

Builidng of the Sydney harbor Bridge, 1930, watercolour, D’Auvergne Boxal

Sydney Harbour Bridge, by Seurat. Nahh, kidding, it’s by Alan Hogan

. . . but this a genuine van Gogh.

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