21 Jan 1942 - 01 Dec 2013
Martin Sharp established a strong reputation for the originality and impact of his graphics whilst living in London during the 1960s, where he designed psychedelic posters and album covers for musicians and bands including Bob Dylan and Cream. Returning to Australia in 1972, he became more widely-known in Sydney for his establishment of The Yellow House artist's collective in Kings Cross, his role in the restoration of Luna Park and for his passionate championing of US singer Tiny Tim.
During the 1970s and 1980s Sharp was commissioned to design posters for Sydney's Nimrod Theatre. The latter, founded in 1970 by John Bell, Richard Wherrett and Ken Horler acquired a reputation during the 1970s as a home for exciting and innovative drama by a new generation of Australian playwrights.
First published individually during this period, this poster and six others were reprinted as a set in 1982 as a fund-raiser for the theatre. Six of the posters were designed to promote productions, while this one 'Nimrod 10' was created to mark the 10th anniversary of Nimrod's establishment as a theatre. It features Australian comic strip character Ginger Meggs, taking on the persona of American entertainer Al Jolson (1886-1950). Jolson performed frequently using the theatrical convention of blackface makeup to introduce African-American jazz and blues music to white audiences in America.
For this 1982 (second) edition of the posters, new stencils were made and the posters were printed on higher quality paper than the original print run. Sharp also created sets and costumes for a number of Nimrod productions but is best known for the posters he produced.
screenprint, printed in red, green and black from three stencils
90.0 x 71.0 cm image; 96.0 x 74.6 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r., black fibre-tipped pen "Martin Sharp". Dated bot.c., black fibre-tipped pen "2.12.82".
Gift of Peter Kingston 2014. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
© Estate of Martin Sharp. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 1 exhibition
Martin Sharp: some posters, a few prints and a couple of drawings, Hogarth Galleries, Paddington, 27 Nov 1982–09 Dec 1982