September 12, 2004 | Unknown

Salty Sean Leahy

Before attending what turned out to be a fine afternoon’s entertainment at the theatre, I visited the Museum of Brisbane (MOB) at City Hall today to take a glimpse at Y’ Want Salt Rubbed in That?, an exhibition of the cartoons of The Courier-Mail’s Sean Leahy.
Leahy, who surprisingly for someone who works in the media appears to be an affable chap, has been in the lampooning business since the last years of the Bjelke-Petersen regime.
Of course, Leahy’s images of Joh triumphantly standing by while unions hurt themselves rather than him during the SEQEB dispute illustrates how much newspaper cartoons deal with the immediate.
Nevertheless, part of the display’s strength lies in its ability to jolt observers back to events like when a gargantuan Russ Hinze took the stand at the Fitzgerald Inquiry and Bob Hawke, drawn as a squawking parrot, returned from oblivion to undermine his vanquisher, an unnaturally thin Paul Keating possessing what might be the longest nose in political history.
Cartoons that are more recent have a sharpness the older ones have not necessarily retained, such as the one featuring the Prime Minister tossing a baby with WMD imprinted on its jumpsuit overboard.
Consecutively viewing a number of Leahy’s cartoons in one sitting left me in a reflective, sad frame of mind as mendacity, arrogance and selling-out seem to be consistent in public life, even if the faces of those who succumb to them change.
Regardless of the frailties of our political and social elites, Leahy gives credit where it is due and makes Mike Ahern too big to fill Joh’s tiny boots, and Peter Hollingsworth too small for Sir William Deane’s.
While the use of sex to enlighten about former National Party leader Rob Borbidge’s relationships with Joan Sheldon and Liz Cunningham is predictable given their gender, overall the presentation provides an interesting satirical look at nearly twenty years of local, state, national and international affairs.

Posted by Unknown at 7:58 pm | Comments Off on Salty Sean Leahy |
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