Percy Reginald Stephensen1943

by Robert Grothey

Little is known of artist Robert Grothey, whose portrait of writer, publisher and editor Percy Reginald ‘Inky’ Stephensen was painted at the Tatura internment camp. With painting materials in short supply, Grothey used thinly-applied oil paint to create a transparent appearance. 

As a co-founder in 1941 of the nationalist Australia First Movement, Stephensen was considered a risk to Australian national security and in 1942, he and other members of the movement, were arrested under the National Security Act. Stephensen spent the remainder of World War II in internment.