Naval art finds home

ARRAN MORTONSound Telegraph

It had been more than 30 years since Shoalwater artist Gillian Peebles laid eyes on the N-class destroyer HMAS Nepal, depicted in oil on canvas.

Painted in 1982, Peebles’ artwork was rediscovered recently and long-time owner Ken Adams decided to donate the piece to HMAS Stirling, where the Australia Navy’s N-class memorial is located.

Much has changed for the Rockingham-based artist since she was commissioned to create the work in 1981 and the piece has become a reminder for Peebles of just how far she has come.

“At the time, I was living in Melville and was doing a lot of self-study into marine and maritime art,” she said.

“I was a little worried about seeing the painting again as I’ve become a visual arts judge since then, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.”

After creating the realistic work in the early 80s, Peebles was invited to attend the Royal Academy of Arts in London as guest artist in 1984 and became the official artist to the America’s Cup Yacht Race in 1987.

Peebles, who prides herself on her ability to work with different media and materials, went on to become a multi-award winning artist and accomplished judge.

Peebles attended a special donation ceremony on Garden Island earlier this month, along with old friends Ken and Dot Adams.

CAPT Angela Bond, RAN, Commanding Officer HMAS Stirling said she was “honoured” to receive the painting.

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