When in Sydney, Bert was in his mid twenties and juggling income from the odd theatre work, costume design and managing the Photography studio in the Strand. He was most likely struggling financially. He got a break in 1897 as a free-lance cartoonist contributing ‘letter press’ to the nation’s notoriously satirical magazine, the Sydney Bulletin. At the time, the Bulletin was a proponent of the White Australia policy, and disparaging in its depictions of anyone who didn’t fit that profile. Caricatures of Jewish, Indigenous and Asian individuals were generally unflattering, affirming the stereotypical views of many Bulletin journos and editors.
Below and in the next post are a cross section of Bert’s work he had published in 1898 & 1899.
The bulletin., v.19, no.967, 1898-08-27, p.20
Bert’s commercial work also earned him income
In this Pattison’s Whisky competition, Bert combined his sketch artist ability with photographic skills. Possibly a first for the Bulletin. By the way, if you want to know who the Sydney celebs were in this court case in 1898 – below is the winning answers