acrylic on paper
23 x 31 cm (paper 29 x 40 cm)
From my perspective, naval service is a combination of frenetic activity with periods of monotony and routine. Training exercises, operational service and extensive periods of hurry up and wait or some other mundane job like dusting pipework or polishing brass occur. What makes service memorable are the unusual moments; the moments that those outside of the military are unlikely to experience or a moment that breaks up the monotony of sea time with a laugh or an odd event.
Using acrylic on paper, I have captured one such moment. In November 2003, on board HMAS Melbourne during operational service in the Persian Gulf, a moment of fresh air and thought is interrupted by an unusual moment of levity where a weary tern landed on a Leading Seaman Bosun’s Mate’s head.
This moment, along with many other moments of laughter, experiences on foreign shores and mateship have enabled to me to look back fondly upon my naval service with a smile.