September 01

ARTISTS : IN THE WARS

eX de Medici, Bullpup. Watercolour on paper, 2009 Australian War Memorial

For 90 years now the Australian War Memorial has commissioned “war artists” to record and interpret Australia’s (all too) numerous military activities. Unfortunately this has been an enduring tradition that highlights an inability to bring an end to global conflict. As one war ends another begins. On a more positive note some extraordinary work has been produced in sites of conflict and the shows that opened last night at the Australian War Memorial last night are no exception. Its really important to remember just how challenging, physically and emotionally, these situations can be for artists who spend time with military personnel and respond to what is inevitably a tense situation.

For Perspectives eX de Medici (CCAS favourite!) has produced a breathtaking series of water colours that (among other things) presenting a behind the scenes view of soldiers at work/relaxing/interacting in the Solomon Islands. In Timor Leste Jon Cattapan’s paintings take abroad view of “zones of disturbance”,  in this instance, interpreted and seen through the eyes of modern military hardware such night vision equipment on night patrols. Shaun Gladwell has recently returned from Afghanistan and his works are also beginning to emerge. But there will be more about Shaun later. Don’t miss eX and Jon at the Aussie War Memorial until 2 March 2011.

Penny and Matt (Matt is the dude sitting on the tree in the background)

Jon Cattapan and Rob Nugent

Deb Clark and Irene Sutton

Holly Arden and Perspectives catalogue designer CHRIS STARR 

Deb, Karen Woodbury and Rachel