The James Gleeson oral history collection

James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists

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Mister tambourine man 1968
Print, screenprint, printed in colour, from multiple stencils
printed image 76.1 h x 50.8 w cm
sheet 76.1 h x 50.8 w cm
Purchased 1972
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Martin Sharp

7 November 1979

James Gleeson: Sunshine superman.

Martin Sharp: Yes, that followed the Bob Dylan one.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Martin Sharp: Which is, I think, this one here. Yes.

James Gleeson: That came first?

Martin Sharp: Yes. He was, well, you know, a Bob Dylan.

James Gleeson: Yes. Master tambourine man.

Martin Sharp: Mr Tambourine man was a song which I actually painted and I was very inspired by his. It’s a rather carnival song and I painted this first exhibition, you know, which Norman Normal came from.

James Gleeson: Oh, I see.

Martin Sharp: To a particular record of his. It was my musical accompaniment, so to speak.

James Gleeson: I see.

Martin Sharp: I suppose I’d always admired him and there came a chance. The publisher of Oz in London was interested in doing posters, so I started. This was a collage, a blow up of a photograph.

James Gleeson: Yes.

Martin Sharp: This is some of Leonardo’s knot work, I think.

James Gleeson: Of course, yes. So it is.

Martin Sharp: These were done, some by me, but made by a very patient friend who with a compass. This was in the psychedelic period when everyone was sort of coming under the influence of drugs, marijuana and things like this, and very prevalent in London at the time.

James Gleeson: I see.

Martin Sharp: Which one had first come in contact with in ones journey through Asia, especially Angkor Wat was a big inspiration in that area, yes.

James Gleeson: I’ve always wanted to and never went. It must be absolutely (inaudible).

Martin Sharp: Yes, I was very lucky because now it’s impossible to get there.


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