Australian Left Review

Article Title

An Involved Artist


Jin Cane


“He remembers with bitterness the humiliations of the long dole queue at the Exhibition Building, waiting for two or three hours each fortnight for the restamping of the dole tickets which entitled single men to six shillings worth of food weekly, married men whether they had children or not to eight shillings worth weekly. He remembers the truculent and callous officials and their complete lack of human sympathy. He can never forget the heartless evictions and the outrageous spectacle of women nursing babies in back lanes with their intimate belongings and pitiful items of furniture piled beside them and the children frightened and bewildered by it all, while police occupied their homes to prevent the evicted families regaining possession. He remembers the demonstrations of unemployed outside the offices of estate agents, seeking by peaceful means to stop such evictions. He remembers participating with groups of unemployed in pulling down houses from which families had been evicted forcefully in the face of protest. He remembers the numerous meetings of unemployed workers at which he was a speaker... ” Early memories of the Australian painter Noel Couniham from page 21 of the book Noel Counihan by Max Dimmock, published by the Melbourne University Press.