From birds to ships! When HMAS Adelaide commissioned an original painting to showcase the capabilities of a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, I was thrilled. I’ve painted ships before but not quite at this scale so I was absolutely determined to enjoy the whole experience.
As usual, I took a deep-dive into the detail and worked closely with the Welfare Committee to create a painting that reflects a “typical day” of amphibious operations. I have portrayed HMAS Adelaide docking down, with three LHD Landing Craft (LLC) disembarking the well dock loaded with a truck and provisions. One MRH90 Taipan helicopter gains altitude while another waits on deck. The setting, Magnetic Island, represents all past and future deployments.
On 8 February 2018, Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Earley, hosted me onboard to present the commissioned artwork before the ship’s company.
In my speech, I noted her impressive capabilities but said that without the crew – the heart and soul of the ship – she would be nothing more than beautiful machinery. With them… and their passion, commitment and specialist skills… she is magnificent.
On a ship’s tour, I saw heritage art, photographs and precious ephemera from her earlier namesakes. I’m honoured to know that my acrylic painting ‘HMAS Adelaide off Magnetic Island’ will, in a similar way, stay with Navy forever.
Sale of high quality prints through the ship’s canteen will provide support for the Welfare Committee’s role of fundraising to assist with morale on deployment.