Australian War Memorial Director Steve Gower and the ABC’s Michael Veitch gave excellent speeches to open Sidney Nolan: the Gallipoli Series last night. Major General Gower showed how it’s done – talking about interesting things like Nolan’s dubious military record and how one crusty old digger suggested the paintings could be used for barbecue fuel. (But we can be sure that won’t be happening !) Michael Veitch spoke of his childhood relationship with a modest digger and the humanity of Nolan’s non-heroic impressions of ordinary bloke soldiers. AWM Senior Curator of Art, Lola Wilkins, has dusted off some extremely potent works, many of which are rarely seen. In the context of Australian history and culture these extraordinary works have increasing currency. While Nolan might be a bit difficult at times, whether one is coming from a military or arts point of view, he always seems to hit the nail on the head. A nice opening and cracker exhibition at the Australian War Memorial until 18 November.