The James Gleeson oral history collection
James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists
Behind is always the Sun 1962
linocut, printed in colour, from three blocks
59.7 (h) x 86.4 (w) cm
Circa 1979 [unknown location]
James Gleeson: Did you ever work in woodcuts?
Henry Salkauskas: No, linos.
James Gleeson: Always linos.
Henry Salkauskas: Now it happens I start to like (inaudible) and it stuck with me for a while. Till I can (inaudible) after. See, that was the colour print. I think, one, two, three colours is that one.
James Gleeson: The hero remains.
Henry Salkauskas: No. Behind is always the sun.
James Gleeson: Ah, yes. So I’ll cross (inaudible).
Henry Salkauskas: Behind is always the sun.
James Gleeson: I’ll cross that title out. That is incorrect.
Henry Salkauskas: It was quite a large linocut. It’s in Sydney Gallery as well.
James Gleeson: It’s in several colours.
Henry Salkauskas: Yes, in three colours.
James Gleeson: Three colours.
Henry Salkauskas: That’s quite big one as a linocut.
James Gleeson: And, like Evie, you cut a special block for each colour? You didn’t hand cut.
Henry Salkauskas: No, never. Because I thought that is an old tradition.
James Gleeson: Yes.
Henry Salkauskas: Every print should have identical from the blocks, has to be from the blocks. Every block has to be cut, then you have the edition similar. When you hand paint—
James Gleeson: They vary.
Henry Salkauskas: They vary.
James Gleeson: Yes.
Henry Salkauskas: That is an old tradition with graphic art. As soon as you change the colour, it becomes a different print. I mean, in theory.
James Gleeson: That’s true.
Henry Salkauskas: See. Then that’s the idea. You stick it with edition, then you destroy it and then it stays there. That is part maybe last of my work which is maybe based more Lithuanian. I say sun comes, that’s important. The summer comes. Maybe it’s little bit more something different. But I still feel I had that Australian influence, because when you come as a young man you get that influence. Bit of rugged country, something roughness, there is something maybe there. As you notice from those prints, after ’62 it become more simplified.