A Conversation with Alan Marshall and Joh Ebeli 1977

During the COVID-19 Pandemic State of Emergency Stage 3 lockdown, our Collections team has continued to work in the background from home, digitising material and cataloguing it onto Victorian Collections. Included amongst these items are a number of old audio compact cassette tapes. Even though we say ‘old’ (because they are), many of us are still familiar with these items. Finding the old analog technology still functional to play them is increasingly difficult.

Alan Marshall in his studio bungalow, 13 Park Road, Eltham, c.1977
(Photo: Joh Ebeli; from trhe collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

One of the tapes was recorded for us in April 2002 on the occasion of the centenary of Alan Marshall’s birth, by long term society member and local artist, Joh Ebeli (1918-2012). In 1977 Joh undertook to create a sculpture of the face of Alan Marshall. Joh recorded a conversation he had with Alan during one sitting in 1977 at Alan’s studio bungalow, 13 Park Road, Eltham. (The property owned by Alan’s sister was sold shortly after his death and was only recently sold again in March 2020.)

Alan Marshall: plastercast from the original by Joh Ebeli, Bicentennial/Heritage Week Display, “The Eltham Tradition”, Eltham Shire Office, 17-22 April 1988
(Photo: Peter Bassett-Smith; Eltham District Historical Society)

During this pandemic, we have decided to make this audio recording accessible for all to enjoy. It runs for just over 32 minutes and consists of general chit chat and banter between Joh Ebeli and Alan Marshall on various current affairs, matters of the past, artists and Joh’s method of sculpture production.

We hope you enjoy listening in.

Audio Recording; Alan Marshall sitting for Joh Ebeli in his bungalow, Eltham 1977 with introduction by Joh Ebeli 2002

Joh Ebeli outside Falkiner Cottage, Ely Street Eltham, September 1982 (Photo from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)


Sidenote: Joh Ebeli also designed the logo for Eltham District Historical Society, a combination of the Eltham Trestle Bridge and Shillinglaw Cottage.

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