Gallipoli wild flowers
Thursday 7 December 2006 by Janda Gooding. No comments
George Lambert: Gallipoli and Palestine Landscapes, Exhibition, Gallipoli Mission, Landscape
Lambert was interested in the small details of the landscape just as much as the grand vistas. By painting studies of the local flowers and bushes he was able to understand more thoroughly the character, form and colours of a particular site. When he arrived on Gallipoli he made notes about the local plants: "The scrub is greenish with nice dead stuff showing grey purple here & there. I propose getting a record of the various plants & flowers."
Lambert picked these flowers from the site of a Turkish artillery battery called 'Beachy Bill' that had regularly shelled Anzac Cove. On 27 February 1919 he wrote that "we discovered quite a wild garden to-day and I am fixed for a flower-piece if it rains." The following day it did rain and it was cold and bleak with intermittent showers. With the flowers to hand, Lambert was able to spend the whole day and the next painting this still life. On 1 March he commented: "Again the rain and therefore the account of the day is easy. The flower-piece is finished ... The flowers are in a biscuit tin on top of a bed for a tentpole." He was pleased with the result but felt that he should be painting up at the Nek where the tragic charge of the 3rd Light Horse had taken place in August 1915.