Portrait of Noel Counihan, 1976. Photographer: Julie Millowick. Image courtesy of the National Library of Australia.
Noel Counihan (1913-1986) is the most prominent and well-known of the artists in the portfolio. Active in the Social Realist movement and the Communist Party of Australia, Counihan took part in demonstrations organised by the CPA in 1933, after the Victorian government passed laws banning gatherings it deemed subversive. Unemployed people were arrested for holding meetings of various support groups. Counihan was arrested after addressing a large crowd from a locked cage atop a truck. Counihan worked as a cartoonist, notably for the Bulletin, and experimented with painting later in his career. He was a prominent linocut artist and the museum holds a collection of his work in this field.