Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.265.
During the Second World War Austin worked as a war artist recording the efforts of women in the Royal Air Force and in the nursing services for the War Artists’ Advisory Committee. This enigmatic fish-eye lens self portrait, dated 1944, shows Robert Austin working in an attic studio. Jackdaws were considered variously both omens of death and a symbol of renewal – in spite of the reference in the title no jackdaw is in evidence, adding a further layer of mystery.
Self and Jackdaw is Post Campbell Dodgson 133; it was first printed in 1942. Austin continued to alter the plate over the next seven years.
We are grateful to Michael Campbell for assistance.