Arrows and Crosses 1980

Alternate titles: Op and Ticks and Crosses
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 203.5 x 77.5
signed, dated and titled [on reverse, in black fibre-tipped pen: ‘Arrows and Crosses / H Arkley 80’]
Private collection, Brisbane

This canvas has a complex history – partly due to Arkley’s tendency to shuffle works and titles at this period (as discussed in Carnival 59).

It was first shown in HA Coventry 3/80 as ‘Ticks and Crosses’, but later appeared in the 1991 Monash survey with the title Arrows and Crosses inscribed on the back. The painting was auctioned in 1998, and then several times after Arkley’s death.

The claim, in the April 2008 Deutscher & Hackett auction catalogue, that this work was also shown in HA Tolarno 5/79, is incorrect, resulting from confusion with the painting shown there as Arrows-Crosses (= Deco 1979). This may also explain the fact that the present work is reproduced as ‘Deco’ (incorrectly, it seems) in both Duncan 1991, and Spray.

Another early alternative title (possibly the most appropriate of all) was ‘Op’: see e.g. the reproduction in Burke 1981; this is also mentioned as an alternative title in Duncan 1991, cat.20.


  • P/C ( HA Monash 1991)
  • auctioned by Deutscher-Menzies, Melb., 10 Aug.1998, lot 169 (ill. and details as above; est.$10-12,000; sold for $10,000 plus buyer’s premium)
  • with Robert Gould, Melb., 2001-2 (see below, under exhibitions)
  • auctioned again by Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney, 16 June 2004, lot 109 (ill.and details as above; est.$18-24,000; not sold)
  • auctioned by Deutscher & Hackett, Melb., 16 April 2008, lot 55 (as ‘Arrows and Crosses’ 1979; ill.on website; sold)


  • HA Coventry 3/80, cat.13 (as Ticks and Crosses)
  • HA Monash 1991, cat.20 (details as above; also noting alternative title of Op)
  • HA Gould 8/01, cat.3
  • HA Gould, Sydney, 3/02, cat.2 (ill. and details as above)
  • HA TarraWarra 12/15-2/16


  • Burke 1981: 374 (ill.: as Op)
  • Duncan 1991 (Monash, 17 (ill.: as Deco)
  • Spray 28 (ill.: as Deco)