Ship bearing red ten

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
Accession Number ART27624
Collection type Art
Measurement overall: 177.5 x 74.3 x 141.7 cm
Object type Sculpture
Physical description red cedar, wax polish
Maker Adams, Dennis
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Date made 1969
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Wooden sculpture of a seaman at the helm. Ship bearing red ten was commissioned in 1967, at the suggestion of the sculptor, for the new extensions to the main building at the Australian War Memorial. Adams was a Cape Horner whose experiences at sea inspired him to create this work. He explains:
"It is based on an officer-of-the-watch at a standard compass, a subject which [I] often saw at sea and in which [I am] attempting to get the feeling of tension which usually occurred when a strange ship appeared particularly at dawn and dusk. The men on the bridge or the compass platform assumed an air of mystery as they moved about".
Adams was commissioned during the Second World War to represent the activities of the Australian and US navies and the Merchant Marines in the South Pacific, and also worked in Britain, Rabaul and Japan.