Peas and Onions for Tea
These emotive paintings will strike a cord with New Zealand families who have wartime links back to this era; a time when ordinary people were called upon by their country to undertake extraordinary and often dangerous tasks.
Mike employs the use of symbols in his paintings, drawn from the vanitas style to highlight the very fragile line which lies between life and death; the line whilch soldiers walk each moment in the field of action.
Mick Harold arrived in Egypt with the 6th Reinforcement echelon in July 1941 however his diary accounted for only the last five months of the North African desert campaign from January 1943 through to surrender at Tunis in May 1943. Mick was then aged 26 and served as a field-gunner in the 25 Battery of the 4th Field Regiment of the New Zealand Artillery as part of the Second Expeditionary Force.
True to the New Zealand character, Mick’s diary entries were brief and somewhat understated and therefore Mike came up with the idea of combining the diary extracts with the appropriate passages from the Official Histories to provide better context to the diary entries. Thus each oil painting is accompanied by a short narrative.