Orient & Pacific Lines – Far East – Canada and U.S.A.


Dahl Collings (1909 - 1988)

SS Oronsay was the second Orient Line ship built after World War II and sister ship to Orcades, she was named after one of many islands called Oronsay on the west coast of Scotland. The liner was completed in 1951 … Read Full Description


S/N: POSTER-PO-003–226263
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Full Title:

Orient & Pacific Lines – Far East – Canada and U.S.A.




Dahl Collings (1909 - 1988)


Minor creasing in blue, otherwise in good condition. Linen backed.


Lithograph printed in colour

Image Size: 

x 990mm

Frame Size: 

x 1125mm
Orient & Pacific Lines - Far East - Canada and U.S.A. - Vintage Print from 1954

Guaranteed Vintage Item



SS Oronsay was the second Orient Line ship built after World War II and sister ship to Orcades, she was named after one of many islands called Oronsay on the west coast of Scotland. The liner was completed in 1951 at Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow-in-Furness; but several months behind schedule due to a serious fire while in the fitting-out berth. The Oronsay operated the UK to Australasia service, via the Suez Canal. Her accommodation set new standards, in both first and tourist class, with decor by Brian O’Rourke. On January 1st 1954, Oronsay left Sydney on the first Orient Line transpacific voyage to Auckland, Suva, Honolulu, Victoria, Vancouver and San Francisco, returning via the same ports. In later years the transpacific sailings became a regular feature of the Orient and P&O services.


Dahl Collings (1909-1988)

Dahl was a commercial artist, illustrator, designer (graphic, textiles, costume), photographer, documentary film-maker and painter.

Dahl Collings (1909-1988) was a commercial artist, illustrator, designer (graphic, textiles, costume), photographer, documentary film-maker and painter.

Dulcie May Wilmott was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1909 to Mabel and Josiah Percival Willmott, a school teacher.

In 1933 Dulcie Wilmott married Geoffrey Collings (1905-2000). She and Geoffrey worked collaboratively for most of their lives, co-signing the majority of their work ‘Dahl and Geoffrey Collings’; the name Dahl having been coined by Geoffrey as a term of endearment. One of their first works signed jointly was a 1934 cover design for ‘The Home’ magazine.

From about 1926 to 1932, Dahl studied at East Sydney Technical College under Rayner Hoff and attended painting classes at the J.S. Watkins Studio Art School. Her career began at Anthony Horderns and Sons in 1928, providing illustrations for the house magazine ‘Horderian Monthly’ and the firm’s catalogues; she also did freelance work for other Sydney department stores, Farmer and Company, and David Jones. She also designed covers for ‘The Home’ magazine published by Sydney Ure Smith.

The Collings travelled to London via Spain in 1935 taking many photographs and making their first documentary film in the medieval town of Alquezar in the Catalonian region of Spain. In London, Dahl worked as a freelance designer until László Moholy Nagy offered her a job in his studio working on the Simpon’s Piccadilly project in 1936. There she gained first-hand experience of European modernism and of Moholy NagyÂ?s and Gyorgy Kepes’s approach to design which she and Geoffrey embraced wholeheartedly. Dahl remained life long friends with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and his wife Sibyl, and Gyorgy Kepes and his English girlfriend, Juliet Appleby. While living in England, Dahl and Geoffrey Collings travelled to France and into Europe. Their first child Donna was born in London in 1937. With Alistair Morrison, Dahl and Geoffrey organised the ‘Three Australians’ exhibition at the Lund Humphreys Gallery in 1938 to show their British work with a catalogue essay by Edward McKnight-Kauffer.

They returned to Sydney in December 1938 via Martinique, stopping in Tahiti for three months to make their second documentary film ‘Tiare Tahiti’ about life in contemporary Polynesia. In 1938, they returned to Sydney and attempted to introduce modern design to local industry; Dahl being one of the very first Australian women to begin the slow process of introducing modern art and design principles to Australian industry. The Collingses mounted their ‘Exhibition of Modern Industrial Art and Documentary Photography’ at David Jones Art Gallery in 1939 and, with Richard Haughton James, established a commercial and industrial design studio, The Design Centre.

Dahl exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society and the Australian Commercial and Industrial Artists’ Association, winning (with Geoffrey) four ACIAA awards in 1940, the year their second child Silver was born in Sydney. She also painted murals for the Accountants Club, Kings Cross restaurants and a kindergarten in the Blue Mountains in the early 1940s, and Dahl and Geoffrey Collings collaborated with Alistair Morrison, Douglas Annand and Elaine Haxton to produce the ‘Temple of Beauty’ display for ‘Woman’ magazine at the Royal Easter Show. During WWII, Dahl Collings worked as a fashion artist and designer on Â?WomanÂ? magazine where Geoffrey had been Art Director, while Geoffrey joined the Camouflage Unit of the Department of Homeland Security. She also continued to work freelance, designing covers for Sydney Ure SmithÂ?s new journal, ‘Australia National Journal’ and producing designs for Elizabeth Arden, David Jones, Qantas, the Orient Line and ‘Woman’ magazine.

Dahl was costume and set designer for the Ealing Studios films, ‘The Overlanders’ (1946) and ‘Eureka Stockade’ (1949). Her paintings of Charters Towers were published in the final issue of London’s ‘Lilliput’ magazine in 1950. She designed posters for the Orient Line and later, fabrics for the SS Oronsay ocean liner.

In 1950 the family moved to New York. Dahl became a design consultant to the Australian Trade Commission, in charge of the Australian Display Centre in the Rockefeller Center, while Geoffrey was Pictures Editor for the United Nations. There she also undertook some freelance work, such as drawings for ‘Harper’s Bazaar’.

Back at Sydney in 1953, the Collingses moved into their newly built house in Castlecrag, designed by the architects Baldwinson and Booth. They established the Collings Production film company and many of the films they produced and directed won international awards. ‘Dreaming’, a film produced for Qantas about Aboriginal art, won one of the five special diplomas (the top award) at the 1964 Venice Biennale Festival of Art Films; their Opera House film, ‘Job No.1112’ was awarded a silver medal at the 1975 Festival of Architectural Films in Madrid; and the series of documentary films they made for Qantas on Australian artists Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale and William Dobell in the 1960s were also well received.

In 1970, Dahl and Geoffrey Collings moved to Killcare Heights on the New South Wales Central Coast. From 1971 Dahl devoted herself full time to painting. She had solo shows at the Bonython Gallery (1976) and Holdsworth Gallery in Sydney (1977) and at the City of Hamilton Art Gallery in Victoria (1982). Dahl died in 1988. Geoffrey died in 2000.

Biography prepared by Anne-Marie Van de Ven, Curator, updated October 2012

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