Tolaga Bay had an open refuge tip down by the river mouth, filling in the last of the swamp the town was built on. An unbelievably stupid engineering decision and common across the country in those days but it was an irresistible hunting ground. One day I came across someone’s clean out, old clothes, papers, odds and ends… Amongst it I found two well worn notebook sized drawing blocks that were full of the most amazing drawings. I was 11 -12 and one of those kids who could draw, and for the first time I was holding art magic. I was transported. These were field drawings and personal accounts of actions this soldier had been involved in. Details of machinery, enemy tanks, planes. Little explanatory notes here and there. Wounded friends, prisoners, personalities. I took them home like a thief and poured over them. These works of a soldier, who in a small town, I probably knew, his memories and talent discarded to the tip.
John Walsh speaks of his training and influences, 2014