Gert Sellheim hailed from Estonia, and his arrival in Australia in 1926 added a welcome avant-garde sensibility to travel posters there. Trained as an architect, he quickly turned to graphic design. His tour de force series for the Australian National Travel Agency featured his uniquely spare and playful Art Deco style.
Perhaps the most famous and finest from the series, this image of five lifeguards practicing a reel and line safety exercise is a delightful modernist poster exercise at the same time. Strong diagonals, the repetition of the abstract figures, and airbrushed crashing waves all tip their hat to the designs of the Russian Constructivists - and show off the youthful dynamism of the country down under. Rare!