A Hostile Shore 

Oil on Canvas - framed under glass 

62 x 82cm 

Like many Australians the subject of Gallipoli has always been close to my heart having heard stories about it passed down from my family. My mother would tell me how when she was a kid her grandfather Laurence Tonks who was at Gallipoli would sit quietly in his room and not talk to anyone in the years after. 

And on my fathers’ side my great great grandfather Edward Millen was the Minister for Defence at the outbreak of WW1 and then became the Minister for repatriation  – a duty which he took most seriously, and which took a heavy toll on him.  

In this painting I have tried to imagine what it must have felt like for the young ANZAC men to be approaching a dark uncertain shore and the overwhelming cliffs above. The absolute fear, courage, and trepidation of not knowing what’s coming. 

I put a lot of thought into this work. I found it quite an emotional experience. I feel humbled to have painted it – not just to honour my family’s involvement but to acknowledge and remember all the brave young men who landed at Anzac Cove not knowing their fate.