Darker Done brings war to city

HIS portraits of Sydney Harbour earned him world-wide fame, but now Ken Done has diverted from his recognisably cheerful style to paint a very different face of the Australian landmark.

The designer takes a step back 70 years to when the harbour was invaded by Japanese midget submarines.

With a series of 14 paintings, Done has illustrated the story of the 1942 event which saw three vessels, each manned by a pair of Japanese submariners, creep into enemy territory.

Two of the submarines were detected, and their crews committed suicide, before they could complete their mission.

A third fired a missile which hit depot ship HMAS Kattabul and killed 21 soldiers.

Done said he didn’t intend for his work to glorify war.

His exhibition is sympathetic to the Japanese submarines sent on a “certain death mission”.

“I was interested in what must have been in the minds of the young submariners,” he said.

“Clearly, they must have felt like there was little chance of return.”

Today at 10.30am, the public has the chance to meet Done at the gallery.

ATTACK: Japanese midget submarines in Sydney Harbour runs until January 27.

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