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New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM), Armidale NSW

Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst NSW

ANZAC Memorial, Sydney

Bank Art Museum, Moree NSW

Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Muswellbrook, NSW

Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Centre, NSW

A section of an artwork.

A touring exhibition of 12 leading contemporary artists at the Western Front.

In 2017, I was invited to travel with a group of 11 artists to the Western Front. Our aim was to create artworks relating to the experiences of Australian soldiers during WW1, and our own experience as visitors 100 years later. Some painted the landscape, some referenced the people, animals or found objects.

My response to the stories our two guides relayed to us began by trying to imagine the thoughts of the young soldiers. As they were facing the enemy, I imagined them thinking of home and as an extension to this idea, the thoughts and anxieties that their loved ones at home held for them. This theme became the underlying inspiration for the watercolour paintings that became my contribution to the exhibition.

Considering the era, my research led me to the Arts and Crafts movement and the decorative artwork of William Morris and his daughter May Morris, who’s motifs embellished fashionable homes at this time.

I isolated one of the Morris’ patterns and replaced roses and buttercups with poppies and cornflowers, the respective floral emblems of Australia and Britain and those of France. With this design, I decorated military shells, a casing for encoded messages carried by pigeons, and decorated in graphite the background of the bugle which signal sounded across the fields.



Participating artists

Deirdre Bean

Harrie Fasher

Paul Ferman

Michelle Hiscock

Ross Laurie

Steve Lopes

Euan Macleod

Ian Marr

Idris Murphy

Amanda Penrose Hart

Luke Scibberas

Wendy Sharpe

View catalogue here.

For more information regarding availability of artwork click here

Essay ‘Why we paint’ by Dr Andrew Yip here.

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