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Painting depicting a country scene

Date: c 1964
Dimensions:
Overall: 330 x 435 x 20 mm, 0.48 kg
Medium: Oil on board
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Costas Melidis
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00031835

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    Description
    An oil painting by Costas Melidis depicting a country scene with a stone cottage.
    The work was likely painted on Costas' journey to Australia from Greece aboard the ELLENIS in 1964.


    SignificanceAfter World War II, with the active encouragement of a Greek Government struggling with post-war reconstruction, large numbers of Greeks migrated to Australia. Numbers increased after 1952 when the Australian Government provided assisted passage to tens of thousands of Greeks.
    HistoryCostas Melidis was sponsored by his brother to migrate to Australia to start his own tailoring business.They paid 12,000 drachmas for his ticket on the ELLENIS in 1964. Once in Australia, Costas was able to find tailoring work quickly through his Greek contacts.

    His first job was in a factory in Taylor Square for three months, after which he became self employed. Once Costas had saved enough money, he sent for his wife and daughter who were still in Greece.
    On board the ELLENIS, Costas won the first prize in the Fancy Dress competition with a costume of captain's outfit he had sewn out of crepe paper. He used the ship's sewing machine to make it. His prize was a Chandris Line keyring. He also kept himself busy during the voyage painting.

    Costas believed there was little future for himself and family in Greece and saw Australia as an opportunity to start a new and prosperous life. He was one in 160 200 Greeks who came to Australia between 1947 and 1971. He and his brother had spent all their savings on the passenger ticket and so Costas brought all his tools with him. His tools meant his independence and livelihood.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Costas Melidis collection

    Assigned title: Painting depicting a country scene

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