Marilyn and the ‘Stranger on the Shore’

It is sometimes said that Marilyn had a dual identity – that of Monroe, the glamorous movie star, but also the insecure Norma Jeane. The same could be said of Peter Drouwyn, the Australian surfer who now lives as a woman, Westerly Windina, on the Gold Coast. In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she described how Marilyn Monroe inspired her to make a life-changing decision.

‘ ”Peter’s gone now,” she says, matter-of-factly. ”He was always a compromise on the real thing: the girl [inside him]. He was a stranger on the shore and he always knew there was something wrong. But although he’s gone, I still have his memories … they’re the only memories I have.”

”With Peter, there was always a shyness and confusion – almost a feeling of insanity – when he had to do things in front of a camera. He started having terrible panic attacks at the age of 12,” she turns and indicates an image of Marilyn Monroe on an etched wall mirror, ”like that girl there. She had panic attacks. Peter bought that picture in 1979 and carried it with him ever since. Why would he do that? I think it was because he recognised someone who was a part of him, or part of me, for a long, long time.” ‘

Marilyn Cafe in Adelaide

Cafe Etc is on Jetty Road, Brighton, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. Owned by Carol Walker, the cafe is decorated with MM posters and memorabilia. If you’re in the area, please do pay the cafe a visit and leave a comment here.


Marilyn Coffee Mosaic in Sydney

“As thousands sipped lattes at The Rocks Aroma Festival yesterday, a small team tried to break the Guinness World Record.

Over four hours, a team of 12 filled 5200 cups with 680 litres of milk and 780 litres of coffee to varying levels to make the world’s largest coffee mosaic of the screen siren at the Overseas Passenger Terminal Forecourt.

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s Head of Design Michael Donohue said the blonde bombshell was a natural choice after their 2009 record-breaking Mona Lisa montage.

More than 115,000 people turned out for the festival.”


Kirkland Exhibition in Brisbane

An Australian exhibition celebrating the photography of Douglas Kirkland opens at Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art on September 11, through October 24.

Marilyn worked with Kirkland in 1961, creating some of her most provocative, sensuous images. Kirkland has also photographed Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Coco Chanel and Michael Jackson.

On Sunday September 12 at 11am, Kirkland will discuss his work at the Gallery’s Cinema A.