Geoff Harvey

Under Cover of Darkness

Acrylic on Canvas

160 x 100cm

Gallipoli Artprize Finalis Geoff Harvey

Deeply anchored in the maritime history of WW1 my painting depicts Mudros Harbour (Lemos Island) at night. Here a large naval fleet is preparing for their departure to the Dardanelles & eminent landings on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Battle ships, transport vessels, mine swipper & hospital ships are ready & waiting for the orders to leave. With the ANZAC soldiers onboard preparing for the first stage of their ill-fated deployment. Officers & men were informed that “they were soon to undertake one of the most difficult tasks any soldier can be called upon to perform” by Lieutenant General Birdwood and that they were warned “to expect shelling, but that was part of the game of war & we must stick to it no matter what”.

Chilling advice for a young inexperienced army about to embark on their first campaign. Words, I’m sure, stirred deep emotions as these brave ANZAC’s prepared to sail into history.