Five Bells

Poem which sketches the immediacy of Australian life in the formative years before the war whilst recalling the drowning of young artist Joe Lynch in 1927.

Milestone
Created
1939
Name
Commemorated by
1963
Commemorated by
2011
Position
1939
Type

The Life and Death of Joe Lynch

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

Had it not been for Kenneth Slessor's poem 'Five Bells', the death of Joe Lynch might have been just another drowning in Port Jackson, not the first, and regrettably not the last. Slessor's poem inspired John Olsen's 1963 painting, Five Bells, on permanent display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and his 1973 mural, Salute to Five Bells, installed in the northern foyer of the main concert hall at the Sydney Opera House. In the Royal Botanic Gardens near the Opera House gate, Guy Lynch's Satyr, modelled on Joe, looks out to sea to where his brother drowned and where the Manly Ferry passes on its daily route.