Comradeship and Grief 


76 x 122cm 


Over the last 30 years Australian Defence Force personnel have suffered peacetime tragedies. In this work I have tried to reflect the deep sadness felt by friends/colleagues from one such tragedy. This moving image (from the Canberra Times) was taken when the news broke out of the four HMAS WESTRALIA sailors who lost their life in the engine room fire on the morning of 5th May 1998.  

I did not know these poor souls, but as a parent, I feel their loss. In creating this work, I strongly considered the ripple effect of the tragedy on their family, friends and work colleagues. The hand of comfort is a supportive emotional gesture. I have also included five memorial crosses in this work; one depicts a suicide (an aftermath of the initial tragedy). 

This work honours the ultimate sacrifice made by Midshipman Megan Pelly, Petty Officer Shaun Smith, Leading Seaman Bradley Meek and Able Seaman Phillip Carroll. I have also included Able Seaman Matthew Liddell.