2004/93/3 Magazine, 'Oz', No. 28, May 1970, 'School Kids' issue, colour offset lithography on paper, published by OZ Publications Ink Ltd, London, England, 1970
Magazine, Oz No. 28, School Kids Issue, colour offset lithography on paper, London, 1970.
Oz No 28, the School Kids Issue, is the issue of Oz magazine that led to the controversial obscenity trial in London involving Richard Neville, Felix Dennis and Jim Anderson who faced trial for corrupting public morals following the publication of this issue of Oz magazine. Oz (published Sydney 1963-1967, London 1967-1973) was a satirical magazine, which began life in Sydney with Richard Neville and Richard Walsh as editors and Australian artist-designer Martin Sharp doing many of the graphics. The first issue hit the streets on April Fool's Day 1963. The magazine's larrikin attitude, very much in the tradition of the student newspapers where its founders had gained their initial publishing experience, concentrated on social satire with humorous cartoons and other artistic material depicting politicians, royalty and prominent public figures in an irreverent fashion. Although articles of more serious socio-political intent were also featured, its anti-establisment profile quickly made it a censorship target. Oz Issue no. 6 (Feb. 1964) caught the attention of the censors and editors Richard Neville, Richard Walsh, and artist Martin Sharp, were charged under the Obscene and Indecent Publications Act and sentenced to jail terms with hard labour - a decision quashed on appeal.
After their experience of the first OZ trial, Neville and Sharp needed little encouragement to leave Australia for England where they established London Oz in February 1967 (ceased publication 1973). The Australian controversy had gained Sharp a considerable public following, prompting his first one-man exhibition at the Clune Galleries in Sydney in 1965. 'Art for Mart's Sake' virtually sold out on the opening night, which led him to London in 1967. Like its predecessor, London Oz, a much better-produced and altogether more colourful publication, also fell out with the authorities after publication of the School Kids issue in 1970.
The legacy of Oz's existence as an underground press leader and the controversial School Kids Issue trial, lives on in David Hockney's drawings, Caroline Coon's painting of the defendants, Anderson, Neville and Dennis, naked, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono's song, God Save Oz.
Jane Conners, Laughing at the Royals, in Australians and the Monarchy, 1993 - http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ncas/teach/resources/austudies/latr.html.
Cygnet Online, February 2004 http://www.library.uwa.edu.au/collection/australian/page3.html.
Berwyn Lewis, 'Viva Vincent,' The Australian Magazine, July 14015, 1990 p39.
Richard Neville, Hippie, Hippie Shake, William Heinemann Australia, 1995.
Peter Mudie, UBU: Sydney Underground Movies 1966-70, UNSW Press, 1997.
Oz magazine, London - alt.venus.co.uk/weed/zines/oz01_04.htm - 4k - 6 Mar 2004
Tony Palmer, The Trials of Oz, Blond & Briggs, 1971. (Detailed document of the Oz case, the longest obscenity trial in English history, incl. transcripts. Drawings by Feliks Topolski.)
Yvette Steinhauer, Face to face: along the Yellow House road, Good Weekend, 16 April, 1988 p8.
Nick Waterlow, Larrikins in London: An Australian presence in 1960s London exhibition catalogue, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, UNSW, 4 September - 11 October, 2003.
Greg Weight, 'Martin Sharp - Australian Artist' - http://www.greenplanet.com.au/gallery/msharp/workin.htm.