We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


Legalise cannabis: the putting together of the heads



Martin Sharp


21 Jan 1942 – 01 Dec 2013

  • Details

    Other Titles
    The Putting Together Of The Heads
    The Gathering of the Heads
    Cannabis - The Putting Together of Heads
    Gathering of the Tribes
    Place where the work was made
    London England
    Media category
    Materials used
    screenprint, printed in black and orange ink from two stencils, on gold foil laminated paper
    73.4 x 48.2 cm image; 76.0 x 50.7 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Tony Gilbert Bequest Fund 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Martin Sharp/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Martin Sharp

    Works in the collection


  • About

    A major figure of Australian pop art during the 1960s and 70s, Martin Sharp is renowned for his cartoons, collages, paintings and designs for posters and album covers epitomising pop's rejection of tradition and its love of colour, figuration and irony.

    Sharp is internationally recognised for the originality and impact of the psychedelic images he created whilst living in London during the 1960s, when he was working as art director of the underground magazine Oz with Richard Neville and others. Oz epitomised the anti-establishment era of the 1960s with its irreverent, satirical and often controversial take on topics as diverse as police brutality, censorship, homosexuality and abortion.

    During his time in London, Sharp established a strong reputation as a graphic artist, designing psychedelic posters and album covers for musicians and bands including Bob Dylan and Cream. His poster designs in the so called 'decadent' graphic style inspired Oz magazine associate Peter Ledeboer to set up Big O Posters in September 1967, to produce, promote and distribute all his work in this sphere and a number of these images (including 'Jimi Hendrix') are regarded as icons of the era.

    This poster was made to advertise a rally in Hyde Park, London - one of a number held at the time to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis and to protest against the tightening of anti-drug legislation. Sharp's design incorporates images from 19th ethonographic engravings of South American Indians to create an image of the exotic. The poster was not ultimately seen on the streets of London, as the billposter employed to put it up, sold all of the stock instead.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Survey 14: Martin Sharp, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne, 15 May 1981–04 Jul 1981

    • Pop to popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Nov 2014–01 Mar 2015

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 12 publications

Other works by Martin Sharp

See all 36 works