Like Arthur Rimbaud, who imagined himself a drunken boat sailing the world to escape the tedium of provincial France, the painter Dušan Marek took vast oceans and bubbling surf as subjects for his art before ever setting eyes on the sea. In particular, a painting titled The Voyage, made on the slat of a wooden bunk Marek slept in during five months of internment at a refugee camp in Dillenberg, Germany, is an imaginative study of water and waves. Read from left to right, argues Bernice Murphy, author of one of two monographs on the artist, the painting’s subject emerges as a surrealistic history of the world: beginning with a crustacean, a symbol of life’s oceanic origins, the painting depicts an evolutionary timeline of ‘germinating seeds and … aquatic plants’ before arriving at its right-hand side with the ‘dim outlines of a human’.1Yet equally visible is a less epochal journey: a hot-air balloon floats over undulating waves towards foreign, grassy shores. Stranded in an overcrowded refugee camp, Marek was daydreaming about motion and adventure. (Rimbaud writes: ‘I have seen archipelagos of stars / Feverish skies where I was free to roam’.)2 Marek planned to settle in France or Canada, but when an Australian migration agent offered visas, he took his earliest escape route.
With his older brother Voitre, also an artist working mainly in sculpture, he boarded the Charlton Sovereign at Bremerhaven on 4 August 1948. The Mareks were born in Bitouchov, a small village in northern Bohemia, and moved to Prague during the final years of Nazi occupation and the subsequent liberation of Czechoslovakia. In February 1948 the Soviet-backed Communist Party assumed undisputed control of all levels of government, marking the beginning of a four-decade dictatorship. The brothers left during the early months of the regime, taking a train from Prague to Aš, before crossing the German border on foot.
The Charlton Sovereign transported some 700 passengers, almost all displaced persons fleeing similar circumstances in Hungary, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. For many, the Mareks included, this was their first time at sea. The small wood-lined cabins and cramped communal spaces, the constant hum of turbines and the uneasy yield of the ship’s weight in water, must all have been strange and new. Dušan wrote: ‘We are leaving Europe and I don’t know for how long. We are going to Australia [water-damaged text] people are vomiting, sea sickness all around. I walk around the deck and through the corridors, have a lie down.’ Five long days later, as the ship edged the French coast, entering Spanish waters at the Bay of Biscay, Marek described a change of mood among the passengers: ‘People are pointing over the railing, the sea sickness is abating. White clouds float above the [Pyrenees] mountains.’
These terse, elliptical sentences come from a notebook Marek kept in 1948. Due to water damage, large sections of the book are completely illegible. What remains is an account of Marek’s migration, beginning in Dillenburg and ending (with blank pages remaining) sometime after the Charlton Sovereign docked for repairs in Ceylon in early October, before crossing the equator to arrive in Australia at the end of the month. Barring English vocabulary and conjugation lessons (‘I am, you are, he is, she is, it is’), the text is written entirely in its author’s native Czech. All quotations in this essay come from an unpublished translation by Elena Gartner from 2013.3
At around 5.00 am on 9 August, the Charlton Sovereign was buffeted by a ferocious squall while crossing the Bay of Biscay. A rope and winch were torn from the ship’s bell pole and passengers awoke to a deck strewn with bent and twisted metal. To Marek, the people leaving their cabins looked sluggish and dazed, ‘like a whole lot of scattered corpses’ making their way among the debris. He was wide awake. The storm had come as a revelation. He later considered it his first real experience of the sea. ‘I was on deck,’ he writes, ‘slipping from side to side, waves crashing against the side of the ship, it was dark, the wind was howling, I was really scared and holding tight onto the railing. I wanted to shout and join the waves in their wonderful efforts.’ He dedicates six entries in his notebook to descriptions of the storm. ‘The sea is an enormous windmill. It will crush anyone who loves it.’ Searching for an apt description he is reminded ‘of a nutcracker. It seems that the sea wants to chew us up but cannot do so because we are too hard to crack, which is wonderful, because we are really only grass, straw.’ Marek had come to understand water as physical, solid. Working with oils on cardboard in late August he made a painting titled Gibraltar (figure 1, now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia) in which the sea is gelatinous: boats do not float, but stand firm on its surface; capsized sailors fail to sink into congealing waves. The painting is bright and colourful, childlike in its verve. Yet the scene is also anarchic and threatening. A beady-eyed sea captain at the painting’s centre brandishes lobster claws in place of hands.
A pen and ink-wash sketch also depicting Gibraltar’s harbour, completed after arriving in Australia, again portrays ambiguous, not entirely human figures (figure 2). They stand on a dismal mound in the sea—surrounded perhaps by foliage, perhaps by flames—and hold aloft flabby, tentacle-like arms that end in toothy orifices. The painting is accompanied by two English inscriptions: ‘Peaple stript of pritentions [sic]’ and ‘first reaction to Gibraltar / in new environment of / Australes [sic]’. What made the memory of Gibraltar so much more nightmarish for Marek once he had arrived in Australia is left for us to speculate on.
A third inscription in Czech translates the title of André Breton’s 1932 essay Communicating Vessels,4 in which the French poet-critic argued against dualisms between experience and ideas, the real and the symbolic, via a discussion of the Freudian method and of dreams. Dreams had, of course, been of long-standing interest to Surrealism, providing the kernel of Breton’s credo in the 1924 Manifesto: ‘I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dreams and reality, which are seemingly contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surrealism, if one may so speak.’5 The ‘communicating vessels’ of Breton’s title rework this central theme, by way of an analogy drawn from a well-known scientific experiment: liquid held in vessels that are joined by a tube, regardless of their size or shape, will rise or ‘communicate’ to a mutual level, displaying the principle of fluid dynamics in interconnecting systems. The intangible world of dreams and the determinism of material reality share this relation. No watertight seal separates what we imagine from what exits; the two streams merge into the vast sea of sensation and interpretation that constitutes our world (an insight Breton attributes to the adolescent poet Arthur Rimbaud).6
Aged 17, Vera Podpěrová left Czechoslovakia with her fiancé Voitre and his brother Dušan. The trio caught a train from Prague to Aš, where a well-connected cousin, Melina Koliašov, could assist them to cross the German border. On the night of their arrival, the sky was clear and cloudless, and the expedition was postponed because of fears that border police might spot them in the moonlight. The next night was overcast and a guide was arranged. On foot, the journey from Aš to Selb, a German town known for porcelain manufacture and a frequent destination for Czech refugees in the late 1940s, can be made in just over two hours. Avoiding major roads and travelling through the region’s dense spruce forests slows the journey. As does crawling through fields and clearings to avoid being seen. By 6.00 am the sun had risen, and camouflage was no longer possible. Their guide led them to a small German town (possibly Selb) and left them at a police station without a farewell.
This account is based on an interview with Vera Marek, conducted in 2000 as part of a State Library of South Australia oral history project.7 Fifty-six years had passed, and she was then aged 73. It is also informed by an article in Life magazine titled ‘Czechs Flee New Red Regime’ accompanied by black-and-white photographs.8
Three photos are of a field near Aš: a train track intersects the landscape; in the middle distance is a wall of trees. Two men, weighed down by heavy coats and rucksacks, walk along the tracks. In the second photo they have changed direction and are running. Men in uniform are chasing them. In the third, the figures have become a frantic blur. There is another photo of a mother, father and two children. The son places his hands upon his mother’s shoulder; his gaze is turned up and slightly to the left. His father stands beside him, facing the camera, smoking a cigarette. They are posing for the camera. It could be a family portrait, except that their faces are masked by scarves ‘to prevent identification and reprisals against family left behind’.9 The article was published in March 1948, probably the month the Mareks left Czechoslovakia.
Vera continues her story from where we left off: ‘It was like in a movie … when we came into the police station, to our great amazement, we found that about thirty members of the uniformed border police were there as well, because they were also crossing the border.’ What amazes me most about Vera’s story is its nonchalant telling; her readiness to joke about what must have been a moment of pure horror. She was well aware of the consequences of being caught attempting to leave the county: ‘years of imprisonment would follow, and on the other hand, if you didn’t stop and turn, they were allowed [to]—and would—shoot.’ The Mareks’ cousin, Milena, was later sentenced to death for assisting them and other refugees (a ruling commuted to 22 years in prison, of which she served ten).10 Vera’s interviewer, Ales Rajch, also seems taken aback. Her next question trails off: ‘It must have given you a fright to see …’ Of course, the story’s happy ending takes away some of the sting: ‘It was a great relief’, Vera replies, ‘when we realised there was no need for all that crawling on our stomachs.’ And in the peculiarity of the situation in which she found herself, the imminent threat of danger seems not to have sunk in: ‘It was pure Hollywood stuff,’ she explains, ‘and I actually got quite carried away by the adventure.’
Alongside the Mareks, Vera was transported to Dillenburg, where she spent five months interned in a refurbished German concentration-camp-cum-refugee camp run by US troops. In late July plans were finalised for the journey to Australia, but limited places on ships leaving Europe meant not all three could travel together. On 6 August Vera boarded the Wooster Victory at Genoa, alone.
On 18 September her photograph appears on the front page of the Queensland Times. A caption reads: ‘Attractive Balt migrants, Ludmilla Chotova and Vera Podperova, get last minute travel instructions … before leaving Sydney by train to their future home at Bathurst [Migrant Camp]’.11 The woman with Vera is a friend she made on route to Australia (they had arrived 12 days earlier, on 6 September), whom she refers to in the interview with Rajch by the anglicised name Lydia. As the caption suggests, the two women look elegant, heads tilted to read the travel instructions offered them by a male passenger on the train. Yet a stiffness in their body language betrays the slight discomfort recognisable in knowing subjects of photography. Like the Czech family in Life, they are posing for the camera. Vera recalls seeing her photograph in print: ‘It appeared … in the Sun Herald [and] Sydney [Morning] Herald on the first page,’ she tells Rajch. ‘It was rather prominent and later caused a slightly embarrassing situation.’ I have not been able to locate her image in any Sydney newspaper from the time (though the Sydney Morning Herald and many other local papers reported on the Wooster Victory’s arrival). Unless it is Vera in the Sun of 6 September, next to an older woman (certainly not Lydia), who looks both happy and exhausted, arms crossed over the railing of a ship recently docked at Sydney Harbour.12
is like an apple from Australia
are like two apples from Australia
How I like this abacus of love!
—Jaroslav Seifert, On the Waves of TSF (1925)
On 1 November, three days after the Charlton Sovereign arrived at Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Morning Herald printed a story headlined ‘At freedom’s gates—a hitch!’13 Two émigrés, a Latvian cartoonist and a Lithuanian tailor, had been arrested. ‘The reason why they may send me back’, Rudolf Cers, the Latvian, is quoted as saying, ‘is that I sold £25 worth of artists’ materials in Gibraltar.’ He was accused of reselling paints and inks and other art supplies provided by the International Refugee Organisation (officially charged with theft). ‘We had 10s. pocket money to do us,’ Cers explained. ‘I met a Spanish girl, and she expected me to take her out.’14 It is hardly surprising that lust might stow aboard a ship travelling halfway around the world, easily concealed among the expected cargos of loneliness and anticipation. Dušan Marek met his wife, Helena (née Jakubová), aboard the Charlton Sovereign. A short note by her can be found on one of the final pages of Marek’s notebook, inscribed in red ink, thickly applied like lipstick:
She signs her name ‘Helena Charltonska’, bride of adventure and the sea. As a reporter in Cairns observed when the ship stopped there in late October, ‘all the Balts were young’; of 725 passengers, less than 50 were over 30 years of age.15
Much of the romance of the Charlton Sovereign, for Marek at least, lay in its destination. Paris (the birthplace of Surrealism) had been his first choice for resettlement, but Australia had its own creative draws. He had read about Australia’s Indigenous peoples and hoped to ‘discover their art’,16 imagining the continent, in the words of his biographer Stephen Mould, an ‘exotic paradise [of] “primitive” artefacts’.17 This amateur and primitivist enthusiasm for anthropology would also attract Marek to Papua New Guinea, where he lived for five years in the 1950s, working as a photographer and engineer on coastal copra boats. The germ of his interest, while easily aligned with his surrealism, seems to predate it. His father, Vojtěch Marek, collected a library of Hindu and other Eastern texts. Once a Catholic, he had lost his faith when, as a returning soldier from the First World War, he learned the Pope had blessed guns and bombs used by the men he had been fighting.
From the deck of the Charlton Sovereign Marek imagined his new life in Australia. ‘It’s not easy to paint here on the ship,’ he wrote in his notebook. ‘The deck is always full of people and there are only beds and electric lights in the cabins. But I will make up for it in the Paradise of Kangaroos.’ How exotic and remote Australia must have seemed to a Czech émigré in 1948. The poet and Nobel laureate Jaroslav Seifert offers a memorable glimpse of Australia as seen through foreign eyes in his memoir All the Beauties in the World. Recalling the years prior to the Second World War, he writes, ‘In those days [Prague’s] gourmet shops sold Australian apples in the winter.’ Ripened in transit, the fruit’s flavour was anything but memorable, yet individual apples were delicately wrapped in thin, silk paper: ‘Mr. Paukert, who owned a gourmet shop on National Street placed them on a platter in the window of the store, each one unwrapped a little bit, so that people could see their unusually beautiful colouring.’18 By the time Marek lived in Prague, war had interrupted international trade routes and these tantalising displays were no more. But Marek probably knew Seifert’s poem, popular for its outlandishness, in which antipodean apples take on the mystery and eroticism of a lover’s breasts.
Reunited with Vera at Bathurst Migrant Camp, they stayed ‘just long enough for Voitre and Dušan to pick up a bit physically’ (as Vera put it), before deciding where in Australia to settle. Fatigued by the journey, they dreamed of somewhere familiar: Adelaide, ‘the city of churches’, might resemble Prague. Vera said: ‘I’ll just give you one first impression of Adelaide. There were just—no building was higher than two stories … and it just—we couldn’t believe that this was a capital of a state.’ This was the first of many disappointments the Mareks would encounter in Australia.
In 1949 the Royal South Australian Society of Arts rejected two of Dušan’s emigration paintings while selecting work for their autumn exhibition. The final display would instead include ‘a more traditional piece of sculpture by his brother, V. Marek, and academic paintings by Ingride Erns’.19 Lisette Kohlhagen, speaking as the society’s secretary, said she had acted out of duty to the public. Marek’s paintings, she said, were incomprehensible and obscene.20 One of the offending works, Equator, painted on a wooden table top, had been created to celebrate the Charlton Sovereign’s entry into the Southern Hemisphere on 12 October 1948 (figure 3). It depicts an impossibly large nude sitting aloft a ship. Her reproductive organs are cogs and gears, and she is wired into the engine: her left hand dips the ocean as a rudder, and she births a screw propeller. The artist’s blue handprint, pressed to his painting, marks his coordinates on a globe at 0° latitude. Writing for the Mail, Esmond George dismissed what he saw as a vacuous ‘puzzle picture’: ‘It will leave spectators unmoved by any reaction except, “Why?”’21 Critics have since admiringly compared the painting’s composition to the enigmatic geometry of Piero della Francesca.22
Yet George’s prediction of an ‘unmoved … “Why?”’ would prove prescient of many early reactions to Marek’s art. Of an exhibition at Mack Gallery in Sydney in 1953, a critic wrote: ‘This Dado [sic] nonsense, which justly passed out of fashion in the early 1920s, nullifies any hope that the layman will receive this artist’s work sympathetically.’23 Earlier in the same review, Marek is unfavourably compared to James Gleeson, as if to emphasise the critic’s preference for native-born talent. With wincing cruelty, the prominent Sydney Morning Herald critic Paul Haefliger took aim at Marek’s status as an émigré: ‘Mr. Marek, we are told, left his homeland because he did not like its enforced pattern of social realism in art. His own manner, with its total preoccupation with subject matter to the exclusion of formal considerations, has indeed much in common with the official “art” of his country. It may advertise different wares, but advertise it does.’24
On 11 November 1950 Marek had bought advertising space in an Adelaide newspaper, the Advertiser. Sandwiched between subscription coupons for Better Homes and Gardens magazine and promotional photographs of imported cars, he had printed in small, plain text:
Art cannot speak through nice social forms. It must not fear to speak plainly.
Man is not privacy.
Break the mirror, which changes your sides. Empty yourself to see what you are.25
The lines extend a poem inscribed across the frame of Equator.26 Read in full, the text is a defiant message intended for his detractors (ramshackle framing was one justification the Royal Society had given when rejecting the painting). At once a provocation and an aesthetic justification, the poem has the hallmarks of a manifesto: vanguardism (art cannot speak through nice social forms) meets iconoclasm (break the mirror) and the promise of unique revelation (see what you are).
Prior to the poem’s publication, photo-graphs of Marek had already appeared in the pages of the Advertiser. Sheppards Jewellers, who employed both Marek brothers, used their image between 1949 and 1952 in a series of advertisements, widely circulated in the Chronicle, the News and other local papers. ‘Dusan [sic] Marek does some intricate hand carving on a Sheppards marcasite watch,’ reads a caption in the Chronicle of 13 October 1949.27 The craftsman is shown in profile, hunched over his tools, his eyes strained in concentration. The photograph was used in a number of newspapers, here decoratively framed by calligraphy curls and flowers. But look closer and it is not Dušan Marek. Elsewhere, a caption correctly identifies his brother Voitre (written ‘Vojtech’ or sometimes ‘Vatjeck’).28 Sheppards Jewellers saw value in publicising their foreign craftsmen; the brothers’ Czech heritage was sensationalised in advertising copy: ‘Continental, Vatjeck Marek, is one of those out-of-this-world personalities for whom practising art in its many phases is the breath and bread of life.’29 But the allure of the exotic is not bogged down in specifics. Pictures of the brothers were used interchangeably; their image represented a type rather than the photograph of an individual.
For much of August 1948 the Charlton Sovereign lay immobile in Gibraltar’s harbour as technicians worked to repair pumps and turbines, damaged during a storm at the Bay of Biscay. ‘It’s hot,’ Marek wrote in his notebook, ‘the engines and ventilation [systems] are not working properly. [The Charlton Sovereign] is an old transport ship. I just overheard that it is probably not capable of travelling all the way to Australia.’ Late in August the ship made to leave the harbour, but on discovering a faulty pump, the crew turned her around. Frustration spread among the émigrés. On 10 September a group removed their luggage and sat on the quayside to protest the conditions for cooking and washing. They said that coffee was being made with salt water and that cockroaches had overrun the cabins.30 In his notebook, Marek records a list of demands: ‘improvements to kitchen conditions, the departure date [water-damaged text] better supervision of the supply store, information on the location of lost property, better behaviour of the staff towards emigrants’. On 5 September a Czech man had been severely beaten by a member of the ship’s crew.
These weeks of painful delays altered Marek’s perception of the sea: ‘The sea is dangerous not because of its waves and depths.’ His prior interest in the ocean’s dynamism and physicality waned: ‘The waves and depths do not hurt anyone. It’s the vastness you should be concerned about.’ His writing turned increasingly to family, draft letters, childhood recollections, private jokes and longing descriptions of home-cooked meals: ‘No one actually surpassed the cooking of our mother. The dumplings, oh yes, and the cakes that she used to bring me in Prague!’
On the magnetism of home, he speculates: ‘The world may be large, but it is also round. The journey of every person is like a golden ring with a diamond.’ (Rimbaud, the restless enfant terrible, conformed to Marek’s theory. He returned to his mother’s house in Charleville regularly from his journeys throughout the world: Paris, London, Vienna, Gibraltar, Java). Marek imagined Australia as but a stepping stone in a larger circumnavigation of the globe, but after boarding the Charlton Sovereign he would not complete the circuit. In 1979 he visited Italy, France and Spain, his first time in Europe in three decades. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia remained, and he feared arrest or reprisal should he return home. He died in Adelaide in 1993.
My introduction to Marek was through reading his notebook; I came to his paintings (and later his films) only afterwards. The book is small and 90 pages in length, with a brown paint-flecked cover, yellowing pages, bound with red tape. In 1995 Helena Marek bequeathed it to the National Gallery of Australia. Elspeth Pitt, the curator who catalogued the gift, speaks of its pages as ‘wrinkled like fingers kept too long in water, though words enough remain to make a picture of the journey’. 31 She goes on to ascribe totemic qualities to the book: ‘In [Marek’s] notebook thoughts and feelings marry with the physical gestures of the ocean. His calmness is mirrored in its languid stretch, his rage in the tumult of violent waves.’32 The effects the ocean has had on the notebook are clear: water damage has marked its pages, expunging large sections of Marek’s careful script. ‘You can read these lines,’ begins a letter drafted at Gibraltar, ‘when you are bored [water-damaged text] excuse me for being presumptuous.’ How can a gap like this be read? What exists between ‘bored’ and ‘excuse’? Is it an absence to be filled—by inference or imagination—or is silence a fundamental part of the extant text? I find the following in a glossary of Czech terminology: ‘bilá mista: blanks left by censors in texts (literally: white spaces)’.33 The phrase has origins in the ‘spattered pages of [censored] newspapers during the Habsburg era’.34 In more recent coinage, it has taken on a remarkable elasticity of scale: bilá mista can equally describe a doctored document, or the white spaces in the official version of a nation’s history.
One morning in March 1948, Vera Podpěrová woke, washed and ate—following her workday routine. She left the house early, saying goodbye to her mother and telling her she would be home by ten, ‘the usual time’. Under a loose overcoat she wore many layers of warm clothing, enough to last her to Australia. ‘I really wasn’t allowed to tell my parents that I was leaving … they would be interrogated in any case, but it would be much worse if they knew.’ In the fracturing bilá mista of Marek’s notebook, I lose sense of the sentence I am reading. Meaning has absconded; someone leaves home for work but does not return. Years later, Vera would think it fortunate that her sister had not come with her to Australia: ‘That was really very kind, or very provident … because there were only the two of us.’ Under a loose overcoat, she carries an unspeakable weight. Vera would not see her family for 25 years.
Brendan Casey is a writer and PhD student living in Melbourne.
- Bernice Murphy, Dušan Marek, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 1979, p. 8.
- Arthur Rimbaud, Arthur Rimbaud, Complete Works, trans. Paul Schmidt, Harper & Row, New York, 1976, p. 122.
- Dušan Marek, ‘A visual and written diary of Marek’s sea voyage to Australia’, 1948, trans. Elena Gartner, 2013, manuscript text in pen and ink and black pencil, 12.0 × 12.0 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
- The third inscription is translated by Stephen Mould, The Birth of Love, Norwood, SA, 2008, p. 30.
- André Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism, trans. Richard Seaver and Helen Lane, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1972, p. 14
- André Breton, Communicating Vessels, trans. Mary Ann Caws and Geoffrey T. Harris, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1990, p. 4.
- Vera Marek interviewed by Ales Rajch, 8 July 2000. Full transcript of sound recording (1 hour). Life Stories of Migrants from the Czech and Slavak Republics Oral History Project, J.D. Sommerville Oral History Collection, OH628/3 SLSA. All further quotations from Vera come from this interview.
- ‘Czechs Flee Their New Red Regime,’ Life, vol. 24, no. 13, 29 March 1948, pp. 27–31.
- ‘Czechs Flee …’, p. 27
- Mould, Birth of Love, p. 22
- ‘Bathurst bound’, Queensland Times, 18 September 1948, p. 1.
- ‘Press kept from Balt migrants’, Sun, 6 September 1948, p. 5
- ‘At freedom’s gates—a hitch!’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 1948, p. 3.
- At freedom’s gates’.
- European refugees reach Cairns on Charlton Sovereign’, Cairns Post, 26 October 1948, p. 3
- Mould, Birth of Love, p. 24.
- Stephen Mould, ‘Dušan Marek: A Landlocked Czech Surrealist in the Antipodes’, Papers of Surrealism, 1997 <http://www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/papersofsurrealism/journal6/index.htm>, accessed 29 May 2017
- Jaroslav Seifert, The Poetry of Jaroslav Seifert, trans. Ewald Osers and George Gibian, Catbird Press, North Haven, 1998, p. 220
- Ivor Francis, ‘Art show “like picture shop”’, News, 6 April 1949, p. 3.
- See Daniel Thomas, Dusan Marek: Seeing the World, Contemporary Art Society, Adelaide, 1993, p. 2
- Esmond George, ‘Weird art display by two Czechs’, Mail, 10 September 1949, p. 10.
- See Mould, Birth of Love, p. 26; Murphy, Dušan Marek, p. 12
- Barry Stern, ‘The Arts: Dusan Marek’, Hebrew Standard of Australia, 22 May 1953, p. 5
- Paul Haefliger, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 1953, p. 2.
- Advertiser, 11 November 1950, p. 7.
- An inscription on the frame of Equator reads, ‘Equator—break the mirror to see what I am.’
- Chronicle, 13 October 1949, p. 35.
- See, for example, Mail, 13 August 1949, p. 44
- Chronicle, 15 September 1949, p. 39.
- ‘Gibraltar protest—disgruntled migrants’, Cairns Post, 11 September 1948, p. 5.
- Elspeth Pitt, ‘Dušan Marek and the Sea, the Sea’, Hester, August 2014, <https://hesterartmag.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/dusan-marek-and-the-sea-the-sea-by-elspeth-pitt/>, accessed 1 June 2017.
- Pitt, ‘Dušan Marek’.
- Derek Sayer, Prague: Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2013, p. xx.
- Sayer, Prague, p. 166.