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Artist Garry Shead's depiction, from his Kangaroo series,  of the secret army that Lawrence calls "The Maggies" in Kangaroo.



A new film about Lawrence has just been premiered in Australia. 

Its subject is Lawrence’s Australian novel Kangaroo.   It was made by the renowned Australian painter Garry Shead.

The film, which features Garry's paintings of Lawrence and Frieda, is a recreation of their stay in Sydney and Thirroul between May 27 and August 11, 1922. 

It is accompanied by music by Annette Golden and excerpts from leading Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe's "Fifth Continent".  It is narrated by Australian film-actor Jack Thompson and Robert Darroch, author of DH Lawrence in Australia (and President of the DH Lawrence Society of Australia). Rose Gissing assisted with the production and script.

In the film Garry explains how his 30-year-long interest in Lawrence, which inspired his Kangaroo series of paintings, was originally sparked by Robert Darroch's 1981 book DH Lawrence in Australia, in which it was first revealed that Lawrence had stumbled across a real-life secret army in Sydney in 1922.  (A revised and substantially up-dated version of this work is due to be published soon.)

As well as works from his renowned series of paintings of Lawrence and Kangaroo,  Garry’s film uses documentary footage to dramatise the post-war climate of disaffected returned soldiers (the “Diggers”) which Lawrence encountered during his time in Australia ( the Australian upper-classes being so fearful that they recruited a local secret-army to forestall an outbreak of revolution).

The film features a pair of actors portraying Lawrence and Frieda exploring the bushland near Thirroul and enjoying the ocean beach below Lawrence’s famous “cottage by the sea”, Wyewurk

It illustrates, vividly, how Lawrence in Kangaroo captured the essence of both "the silvery freedom" he encountered in Australia, and the underlying "horrible paws" of the fascist movement he unexpectedly chanced upon there.




If you wish to join the DH Lawrence Society of Australia, it's free. Just send us your name and email address. Click HERE