Presenting commissioned art to HMAS Adelaide
From birds to ships! When the Ship’s Welfare Committee commissioned an original painting to showcase HMAS Adelaide’s capabilities as a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, I was thrilled. I have painted ships before but not quite at this scale so I was absolutely determined to enjoy the whole experience.
I took a deep-dive into the detail and worked closely with officers onboard to gather references so I could paint a ‘typical day’ of amphibious operations. The painting depicts 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 off the Australian coast, represents all past and future deployments.
On 8 February 2018, Commanding Officer HMAS Adelaide, Captain Jonathan Earley, hosted me onboard to present the painting to the ship’s company. In my speech, I noted Adelaide’s impressive capabilities and concluded by saying,
“Without you, the heart and soul of the ship, she would be nothing more than beautiful machinery. With you … and your passion, your drive, your commitment and your specialist skills … she is magnificent!”
I was privileged with a tour of the ship. Her capabilities are indeed impressive. I observed heritage paintings, photographs and precious ephemera from her earlier namesakes in the officers mess. I feel 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.