Martin Sharp died at the age of 71, 1st December 2013. He was one of Australia’s most famous pop artists and graphic designers. His psychedelic works of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Cream (just to name a few) came to symbolise the 1960s and his redesign of Luna Park in 1979 set the cultural tone for our city. Sharp’s work was immensely influential worldwide and continues to be inspiration for many design and art students.
But this great Australian icon has a special place in our hearts at the University of New South Wales as he as a student had contributed to Tharunka. Sharp did something that many before him and many after him have done since and that’s causing controversy for the right reasons. Most notably in the 1964 O-week edition (50 years ago this year), when Sharp’s ‘The Gas Lash’ cartoon resulted in the prosecution of Tharunka editors for obscenity. Perhaps something obscene in itself when we consider the envelope pushing role student newspapers should have in our society.
Considering Sharp’s contribution to both Australian visual art and Tharunka’s proud reputation I was wondering whether Tharunka was planning to pay tribute to this iconic artist. I would truly love to see some of Sharp’s contributions to Tharunka and a short tribute article to his life and career. Sure it would be a little late but I believe still a valuable look back at Tharunka’s long proud history.
Perhaps a look back will inspire us to shape the future.
With fuzzy warmness,
3rd year Bachelor of Architecture Studies